Unambiguously stating that a conspiracy was being hatched to carry out strikes in Bangladesh and India, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday formally registered an FIR in connection with the Burdwan blast probe entrusted to it by the Union home ministry.
The ministry had, on Thursday, handed over the probe to the agency after one of the four people arrested in connection with the blast allegedly told investigators that the bombs they were assembling were meant for terror strikes in Bangladesh.
CID investigators too told HT on Friday that a government investigation found that Burdwan-manufactured explosives were being sent to Bangladesh. The investigating body will hand over its report to the NIA, which might further embarrass the Mamata Banerjee government that is already under fire for not cracking down on Bangladesh-based terror groups in the state.
“After taking over the reins of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina launched a crackdown on terror outfits and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen operatives were forced to shift some of their operations out of the country. The easiest alternative was Bengal. We have come to know they started producing explosives since November last year,” said a CID official, requesting anonymity.
In its FIR, the NIA has named five accused — two of whom died while making improvised explosives — invoking charges under relevant sections of the unlawful activities (prevention) act, Indian Penal Code and explosive acts.
This is the third time since its inception that the NIA has been asked to take up probe in a case without the consent of the state government concerned.
After registering the case, the agency dispatched a team led by inspector general-rank officer to Kolkata to speed up the probe.