The metropolis is a conduit for movement of militants, but is not a target of the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami (HuJI), Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed or any other militant group seeking shelter in the city, while travelling to and from Bangladesh.
The latest finding of the state and the central intelligence agencies — put into action in Bengal after the Tuesday Mumbai mayhem — confirms that Kolkata is a terror corridor.
Intelligence reports said the communal harmony has helped the city stay safe. What’s more — the rationalists living here outnumber the fundamentalists of both the communities.
The state government on Thursday announced that it has ordered a crackdown on SIMI.
However, intelligence agencies reports say there is no apparent evidence to support this order and the outfit was still active in the city — planning action with other militant outfits.
“Unlike Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Maharashtra, where there is recurrent tension between Hindus and Muslims, here the Muslims live in relative peace. But, we do get reports of militants seeking asylum in the city as a transit point from Bangladesh,” said an intelligence officer.
Intelligence agencies have reported that there are at least 31 militant organisations operating from Bangladesh — many of whose members take shelter in Malda, Murshidabad, North and South Dinajpur and in the city after crossing the border.
But raids on their hideouts have not yielded any blueprint to suggest impending action in the city.
“The SIMI has been banned, but at no point of time did the government find it involved in any-state activity. If you slam the Muslims for anti-national activities, a backlash is inevitable,” Muslim intellectual leader Syed Ali said.