Though Bangladesh has denied arresting Hyderabad blasts suspect and Harkat-ul-Jihadi Islami (HuJI) operative Mohammed Sharifuddin alias Abu Hamza, there appear to be links between terror outfits in Bangladesh and Indian insurgent groups.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Tuesday that Bangladesh has been asked to cooperate with India in the war on terror and deal Dhaka has also been provided particulars about individuals “indulging in all sorts of activities like insurgency and terrorism".
Notwithstanding the caretaker government's proclamations about rooting out terror, Indian Intelligence agencies report that insurgency has actually grown in Bangladesh during the military-supported Fakhruddin Ahmed’s regime.
A number of ultra groups such as the Hizb-ul-Toheit, the Allah-ar-Dal and the Jaheed-Al-Queida have mushroomed in Bangladesh of late. According to intelligence agencies, these new groups have established links with Indian Intelligence Groups (IIGs) such as the United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa), the All Tripura Tigers Force (ATTF) and the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT). And there are reports of this terror network extending to other parts of India as well.
IIG commanders such as Paresh Baruah and Arbind Rajkhowa (of the Ulfa), Ranjan Daimary (NDFB), Ranjit Debbarma (ATTF), Bishwa Mohan (NLFT), Jeevan Singha (KLO) and Anthony Shimrey (chief arms procurer of the NSCN (IM) continue to enjoy patronage in Bangladesh, said intelligence agencies.
More disturbing are reports of the emergence of Bangladesh as the hotbed of a pan-Islamic movement. Intelligence agencies say young cadres in the age group of 13-16 years are being trained at camps supported by the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) in the Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) region.
New Delhi has handed Bangladesh a list of 176 IIG hideouts that allegedly function with ISI support. Most of these can be found along the Indo-Bangla border Tripura and Mizoram.
Reports suggest that a large number of recruits from the community of Rohingyas (who are originally from the Arakkan district of Myanmar) have been drafted in recent months. In June, the Bangladesh police had apprehended four female cadres linked to the Hizb-ul-Toheed – said to be one of the HuJI fronts. “This signifies a disturbing trend and the possibility of these poor and underprivileged cadres bring trained as human bombs in neighbouring countries like India cannot be ruled out,” an intelligence official said.