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Saibal Gupta & Debajyoti Chakraborty | Burdwan & Kolkata | TNN | Oct 9, 2014:: The Burdwan blast has exposed a chilling home truth in Bengal, much discussed but seldom put on record. CID on Wednesday sealed three more houses in the vicinity of the ‘IED factory’ and a cyber cafe from where terrorists used to download manuals to make rocket launchers, indicating yet again that the state is turning into a terror logistics hub.
Alarmingly, the terror trail has reached President Pranab Mukherjee’s native village, Kirnahar, in Birbhum. CID has recovered an activated SIM card used to make 16 calls on September 27 and 28 to terrorist Shakil Gazi, who was killed in the Khagragarh blast, and two others. Calls from this SIM were made to someone in Kirnahar, too. Mukherjee was in his village for Durga Puja on October 2, when the IEDs blew up in Burdwan, some 70km away.
During raids in Burdwan’s Baburbagh, Mathpara and Badsahi Road on Wednesday, investigators seized two 9mm and 7.62mm pistols, 69 bullets, half-burnt papers, a driving licence and a diary with telltale jottings of what the suspects were up to. Another team confiscated the hard disk of a computer at Kesabganj Chati cyber cafe from where Shakil allegedly Skyped messages to other members of the terror module. The cyber cafe is barely half a kilometre from a police outpost. Police have rounded up the owner.
Investigators believe the absconding kingpin Kausar and another terror operative Rasique used to stay at the Baburbagh house at intervals and had taken several consignments to Bangladesh in the last two months. CID is yet to trace these dreaded militants who used to serve as linkmen with the various modules spread over four districts — Burdwan, Birbhum, Nadia and Murshidabad. They used to work under the supervision of three coordinators who are suspected to have crossed the border after the blast.
Their secretive lifestyle was the same as that of the Khagragarh inmates. They lived as couples, hardly mingled with neighbours. The women always wore burqas and men were never seen without helmets. They came out of their houses only after sundown and wouldn’t allow men to walk up to the roof of the two-storey house. They took the house on a Rs 5,000 monthly rent. What’s more, the seized SIM card was used in five cellphones to make calls to Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Mumbai and Bangladesh.
CID have charged all four arrested in the Khagragarh blast case with waging war against the state under UAPA, said home secretary Basudeb Banerjee. CID suspects that they have links with terrorist organizations like Al Jihad and Huji. On Wednesday, CID interrogated accused Hasan Saheb, who was injured in the blast and is recuperating in Burdwan Medical College. Investigators believe he is a storehouse of information on the terror module.
Sadly, rather than joining forces to stop the terror tentacles in the state, Bengal’s politicians are playing tit-for-tat blame games. Trinamool national secretary Mukul Roy hit the streets in Burdwan on Wednesday to counter CPM’s rally for an NIA inquiry. Leader of the Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra demanded immediate removal of Burdwan SP SMH Meerza. BJP leaders will take out a rally on Thursday for an NIA probe into the Khagragarh blast. [Courtesy: TOI].
Bibhas Bhattacharyya | Hindustan Times | Burdwan | October 08, 2014:: The role of a madarsa at Mangalkot in Burdwan district, as a nursery for jihadi ideals swung into the limelight as a team of CID and police officers raided on it on Monday night.
The women-only madarsa is where Runi Bibi and Amina Bibi, who were arrested on Sunday in connection with the blast, underwent jihadi training. On Monday, the CID arrested accused Abdul Hakim — who was injured in the blast and is undergoing treatment.
Police officers told HT that the jihadi training was not to be confused with the training in arms and combat imparted to terrorists but was an indoctrination through studies instead. The officers cautioned some people at the madarsa but did not shut it down.
Hasem Mollah, who was arrested Sunday, was interrogated by the senior CID officers at Bhwani Bhavan in Kolkata on Tuesday. Prior to joining this group, Mollah was familiar with Abul Kalam, another accused. “Not only did they get training, but these two would also impart training to new students. The two women got training in firearms too,” said a CID sleuth, adding that the women may have travelled to Bangladesh through the porous border.
An officer of Burdwan police said that after the blast on October 2, the women and an injured Abdul Hakim attempted to flee the spot but did not succeed as neighbours had spotted the body of Shakil Ahmed – which they tried to leave behind.
A small lathe machine was recovered from the spot. “The machine was used for making explosives,” police said, adding, “The accused were trying to install a bigger
lathe machine. They needed a skillful lathe machine operator to work it. Runi Bibi told us that her husband and others were talking about it.” The CID have also identified two other suspects — Yusuf Seikh and Shanawaj Biwi — who are absconding. [Courtesy: HT].