Bengal: Terror houses mushroom on govt land

  • Arpit Basu and Surajit Ghosh Hazra, Hindustan Times, Kolkata/Bolpur
  • Updated: Oct 21, 2014 08:05 IST

The National Investigative Agency (NIA), probing the Burdwan blast, decided to examine the role of the West Bengal government in the case after discovering houses built on government land by suspected militants.

On October 18, agency sleuths found three houses constructed on approximately one bigha (14,400 sq ft) of land in Muluk village just outside Bolpur, the district headquarters of Birbhum.

Read: NIA faces flak for using teen to find IEDs

"Our primary investigation has revealed that three buildings, where terrorists were running a suspected training centre, came up on a land belonging to the government," a senior NIA official told HT on Monday.

All the occupants - except one, Mithu Sheikh - disappeared after the October 2 blast, and security forces are sure they were active participants in the terror network that Bangladeshi operatives were spreading in Bengal. NIA has arrested Mithu Sheikh and expect to get vital leads from him.

Read: 39 IEDs, explosives recovered in Burdwan house

NIA officers had on Saturday seized, among other things, computers, data cards, and documents related to jihadi teachings, from the houses.

Sources at the block land and land revenue officer (BLLRO) told HT that the land originally belonged to a local zamindar and was vested with the government under the Barga act and was handed over to the tribals. Records show a local cloth merchant forged documents and sold the plot to Mithu Sheikh, Talehar Sheikh and Abdul Mallik - who are now under the NIA radar - in 2011.

Read: Checking infiltration Centre’s responsibility: Didi

"It is beyond doubt that there have been a few fishy and illegal activities in the process of transfer of land since the land belongs to the government," said a BLRRO officer.

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