Barak Valley, famous as ‘Island of Peace’ in South Assam, seems to be turning into fertile ground for ISIS
recruitment and fake passports
Jyoti Lal Chowdhury
Huge sensation prevailed in South Assam recently when the police arrested four Bangladeshis and two Indian linkmen from Balia near Bangladesh border under Nilambazar police station. They were arrested while disposing of a dead body identified as that of Izzad Ali of Sylhet. Ali was said to be a part of the gang who suddenly fell ill and believed to have suffered stroke. Their interrogation reveal that they were on recruitment drive for ISIS.
The two Indian linkmen have been identified as Sajan Ahmed and Moinul Haque Choudhury of village Khagrail. All of them were found travelling in a Tata vehicle, which was seized by the police. Their interrogations led to the arrest of several others from different locations of Karimganj district and the arrest continues. Till now, around 15 persons have been rounded up and interrogated and sent to jail under various charges of abetment. The Congress Gaon Panchayat president of Binodini, Manowara Begum, and her husband Hizbur Rahman have also been arrested.
Shahjahan Ahmed of Khagrail with business connection in Dubai is believed to be the key person in linking the probable recruits for ISIS. From the possession of the Bangladeshis and their two Indian linkmen fake Indian voters ID cards, mobile sets with Bangladeshi sim cards and other incriminating documents have been seized.
In the aftermath of Dhaka mayhem on June 1, Bangladesh intelligence agencies had alerted New Delhi about the missing of many youths of their country. They might have sneaked into India. The Bangladeshis along with their Indian linkmen were staying in the rented house of Faizur Rahman of Kaliganj, 10 km down Karimganj border town for the last one month.
Pradip Ranjan Kar, Superintendent of Police (SP), Karimganj, admitted a racket with network in forged Indian passports is active in South Karimganj. Bangladeshis are being helped to cross over to this side of the border and enable them to get Indian passports.
This network is spread from Saudi Arabia to Dubai and Bangladesh. In this racket, Hifzur Rahman, husband of Manowara Begum, is the mastermind, the SP said. From the house of Manowara Begum, a lot of incriminating papers and documents have been recovered by police. One advocate, whose name has not been disclosed, is also involved who acted as Notary to help Bangladeshis get documents, testifying to their Indian identity. Armed with these documents, bank accounts have also been opened in UBI Nilambazar branch.
All this dovetails that there is a deep-rooted conspiracy with dubious motive. It is also more than clear that the four Bangladeshis along with the dead companion Izzad Ali could collect passports for their destination to Saudi Arabia to join ISIS. Nizam Uddin also known as Kamal Uddin, a Bangladeshi, is also reportedly acting from Saudi Arabia. He also got passport from India. He used to send photographs of Bangladeshis by Whatsapp to Bilal assuming the name of Nizam. Bilal took them to Manowara Begum’s husband who facilitated them to get necessary papers for Indian passports. The modus-operandi does not end here. For electronic photo identity card, a computer shop ‘Mosafa’ at Badarpur railway town was utilized. It is surprising that all the Bangladeshis are from affluent families who have been sent to jail after 14 days of police remand on September 7 last.
Preliminary investigation by police says the name of a former additional deputy commissioner Rashid Ahmed Choudhury has also figured. He testified the names of two persons, Altaf Hossain Laskar and Ali Akbar Choudhury, to facilitate them to get passports in 2004.