New Delhi/Kolkata: Two Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) operatives, wanted in the 2014 Burdwan blast case, were arrested by the National Investigation Agency in West Bengal’s Hooghly district, officials said Tuesday. Kadar Kazi (32) and Sajjad Ali (21) were arrested Monday night from a three-storeyed under-construction building in the Borodongol More locality under the district’s Arambagh police station area, they said.
“They were wanted in the Burdwan blast case. Kazi was also declared a proclaimed offender while Ali was his associate,” an NIA official said. “Acting on a tip-off, our officials along with the local police conducted a raid at a place in Hooghly’s Arambagh Monday midnight and arrested these two JMB suspects who were under our radar for the Khagragarh explosion case,” the official told PTI.
The two were Tuesday produced before a special court in Kolkata that sent them to 14 days NIA custody, he said. Kadar hailed from Nanur in Birbhum district, while Sajjad was a resident of Kandi in Murshidabad district.
The two were on the run since the explosion at a house in the Khagragarh locality of Burdwan town on October 2, 2014, killing two persons and injuring another, the official said. “The duo had returned to West Bengal a couple of months back. They were well-versed in manufacturing Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and were hiding in Arambagh,” he said.
Asked whether the two were planning to carry out any terror activity in the state, the NIA sleuth said it was still unclear. “They are being questioned and the agency is testing the documents and materials seized from them,” he said.
An NIA spokesperson added Ali “was an associate of Kazi and was in touch with the other accused of JMB through encrypted communication of protected text/other social media apps, as revealed by him during initial questioning. “Incriminating articles like battery, wires, electronic circuit, electronic clocks and watches to be used for the preparation of IEDs were seized from his possession.
It was also learnt that the NIA got information about Kadar and Sajjad and their whereabouts after grilling arrested JMB leader Kausar Ali. So far, the agency has filed charge sheet against 30 accused under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and several sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Arms and Explosive Acts.
During investigation, it was revealed that the two deceased and the injured, believed to be JMB members, and present in a rented house, were engaged in preparation of bombs, arms and ammunition, maintaining hideouts and organising terrorist training camps in pursuance of a larger conspiracy to carry out attacks in different parts of India and in Bangladesh, the NIA said. The JMB is a terrorist organisation operating in Bangladesh. It was banned by the government of Bangladesh in 2005.