On the very birthday of the great worshipper of non violence Mahatma Gandhi, a worst type of bomb blast had taken place in Khagragarh in Burdwan district of West Bengal. The bomb was so powerful that two persons were instantly killed and one seriously injured. The house where this blast took place, the ruling party of the state, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) had its office in the ground floor of the same house. In an unsuccessful effort of clandestinely removing the signboard of the TMC they were caught. The flamboyant leader of TMC and the so called crusader against all ills, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee kept mum over the incident for long nine days after that bomb blast. She opened her mouth only when the Central Government had declared its decision to direct the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate the whole incident as it was involved with the security of whole country let alone the state of West Bengal.
Mamata protested against this step as, according to her, it has encroached upon the rights of the state and it had disturbed the federal structure of the country. But mysteriously enough, she did not utter a single word against those terrorists who were behind this and who had international connection including Bangladesh. To be very specific, Shakeel Ahmed was the main culprit behind this blast, but he was killed in the blast leaving his terrorist wife Razia Bibi behind him. Shakeel who was resident of Bangladesh and an active member of Jamaat-Ul-Mujaheedin Bangladesh (JMB) came to India in 2006 and stayed in Karimpur in Nadia district. Met local Moulavi Rafiqui Islam in 2009 married Rafique’s cousin Razia Bibi, identified Razia’s father as his own to get ration card, Voters-I-card, and then had set up a burqa shop in Murshidabad’s Beldanga.
Two persons that police claim to be terrorists, Shakeel Ahmed and Sovan Mandal were killed, while third Abdul Hakim Hassan was injured in what was termed as ‘accidental’ explosion on October 2 in a rented house at Khagragarh.
The literature recovered from the Burdwan house reveals links of JMB to several global terror outfits.Reports reveal, JMB was on a recruitment and fund-raising drive for months. It targeted seven madrasas in Murshidabad, Malda and Nadia districts to recruit a dedicated cadre of at least 150 young men to carry out attacks in Bangladesh. The ISI, which worked out of the Pakistan Embassy in Dhaka, provided material and financial support to these outfits working against India.The literature recovered from the Burdwan house also reveals links of JMB to several global terror outfits. There were pamphlets mentioning al- Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri.” A DVD supporting the al-Qaeda and Chechen rebels was also recovered from the house along with 55 grenades, gelatin sticks, chemicals and five cellphones with 50 SIM cards.The revelations of the Burdwan module have also put considerable strain on the ongoing counterterrorism cooperation between New Delhi and Dhaka.“For the last six years Dhaka had proved to be a major ally for us in tracking down key terrorists,” a former RAW chief told English daily Hindustan Times. The assistance from Dhaka helped neutralise the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and several jihadi outfits like the Indian Mujahideen (IM) using Bangladesh as their base of operations.“Some of the plans to target Mumbai on 26/11 was also done out of Bangladesh and we had intercepts of the LeT’s head of operations speaking to a key operative in Bangladesh to plan the attack,” a former senior intelligence official said.
The interrogation of Shakeel’s wife Gulshana Bibi alias Razia Bibi and Hakim’s wife Alima Bibi involved in the Burdwan bomb blast reveals that the Jamaat operatives underwent al-Qaeda's model of training to execute an attack similar to that of the 9/11 attack in the United States.
The interrogation report says that a locked room of a rented house in Khagragarh, where three Jamaat operatives lived with their families, was used for making bombs while two other rooms in the house had sewing machines which were used for camouflaging the terror operations.
Razia Bibi, daughter of a labour contractor of Burbagpur in Nadia district who got married to one of the Jamaat operative Shakeel, has confessed that the Jamaat operative after marriage opened a tailoring shop in Nadia.
Razia in police custody also confessed that Ibrahim, a Maulvi of Simulia Madarsa in Bangladesh and two Bangladeshi Jamaat operatives, Talha and Nasirullah, lived nearby with their families. She was warned by her brother Rafiqul who came to know about Shakeel's accosiation with Jamaat-ul Mujahideen. Shakeel had known Yusuf, the other Jamaat operative, even before he married Razia
and he was frequent visitor to their house.
Yusuf who imparted al-Qaeda model of training to Shakeel, Hakim and Mandal, also introduced them to Nasirullah, a bomb expert from Bangladesh. The trio moved to Khagragarh in Burdwan in July 2014 on Yusuf’s suggestion and was trained to manufacture bomb by Nasirullah at their house for six to seven months.
The material for making bomb was supplied by Jamaat operative Kausar, and the bomb material was transported from Kolkata by train and bus. Once made, these bombs were delivered to Mohammad Kadar at his house in Birbhum in Kirnahar.
The other women in police custody Hakim's wife Alima, confessed that Habibur, a suspected terror operative who was arrested in Bolpur, convinced her to shift to Simulia Madrasa where she met Yusuf who further introduced her to Abdul Hakim.
After she got married to Hakim, a ration supplier in the Simulia Madrasa, she told she shifted to Beldanga in Murshidabad where they underwent training in bomb making, and got arms training in Mokimnagar Madrasa and Simulia Madrasa.
The other persons who are under the police lens are: Sk. Kausar, who used a red bike without registration number, and helped Shakeel find the Khagragarh house. He is suspected to be the linkman between Shakeel and JMB. Abdul Kalam- he frequented Shakeel’s burqa shop, Amina Bibi, wife of Hakim and Hasan Mollah, shoe trader from Burdwan’s Purbasthali. He was in constant touch with Shakeel, visited his Burdwan house, and was contacted seven times after the blast.
After this blast, the CID has unearthed many training centres in the West Bengal-Bangladesh border areas. There are eight districts of the state facing Bangladesh spreading through 1300 Km porous border and taking advantage of the situation they have already set up 65 terrorists training centres in Indian side. In the Bangladesh there many more centres. Only in Nadia district alone they have set up 27 terrorists training centre. When CPM leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee became the chief minister of the state, in his maiden speech as chief minister he referred to these madrassas as armouries of terrorist Muslims, who are engaged in anti social and anti national activities. According to him, there existed more than thousand such Madrassas and Training Centres in Bengal. In no time, for his comment, Buddhadeb was rebuked by his own senior party leaders and he was compelled to withdraw his statement. But its truth has now been unequivocally established.
Meanwhile, two years back same type of clandestine workshop was unearthed by the CID on 8th April, 2012 at Metiaburuz, Kolkata at Lohagali Masjid Talao. IED (Improvised Explosive Devise) was being produced there. Khagragarh is second incident of same type acclaimed by Central Intelligence. They said one among the dead in this second incident Shakeel Ahmed alias Nayeem was a tailor at Metiaburuz, Kolkata three years back. Then he established a separate IED factory at Beldanga under Murshidabad district. The next information which the CID personnel could gather was that these IEDs had been continuously supplied to Bangladeshi organisation JMB and it further mentioned that the blessings of the ruling party of the state had been always there.
It had been alleged that the Jamaats had been very liberal to help and assure TMC of Muslim votes for winning the elections. As Jamaats kept their word, the ruling of the state had just reciprocated that. Hence terrorist activities were going on here uninterruptedly, infiltration from Bangladesh had been overlooked to please the Jamaats and the ruling party here had made it a point to oppose the proposals of Bangladesh put forward for the approval of the West Bengal Government.
It had been said that Mamata had allegedly got so much of support in cash and kind from Jamaat that she had willingly giving reciprocated to Jamaat for their plan to oust Hasina from the seat of power in Bangladesh. Government of India is totally opposed to this suicidal policy. But the simple question that needs an answer is that can a state government under Indian Union act in this fashion? Is it not going against the national policy?
Mamata wanted to conceal all these information from the glare of the central government by putting bogus argument as if centre had wrongfully appointed the NIA just to destroy the federal structure of the constitution which was not a fact.
–Asim Kumar Mitra
(The writer is Kolkata based journalist)