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Porous border makes city easy prey

While names of Pakistan-based jihadi groups are under the scanner after terrorist attacks in the rest of the country, it is often a Bangladesh outfit in case of Hyderabad, reports Ashok Das.

india Updated: Sep 04, 2007 05:24 IST
Ashok Das

WHILE NAMES of Pakistan-based jihadi groups are under the scanner after terrorist attacks in the rest of the country, it is often a Bangladesh outfit in case of Hyderabad.

The first Bangladesh link was found in 2004 when a HuJI plot to kill the then BJP state president Indrasain Reddy was uncovered. The next year, a Bangladeshi human bomb attacked the police task force office, killing himself and one policeman.

The question is why do Bangladesh-based terror groups like Harkat Ul Jihad Al Islami find Hyderabad an easy target? Security experts say travel to and from Pakistan, where most training camps are located, has become difficult due to increased vigilance on the western border. And taking the route through Kashmir is not easy any more.

On the other hand, a trip to Bangladesh is far easier thanks to the porous border in West Bengal, Manipur and Tripura. A state police team that visited the Indo-Bangla border in Bengal found it is easy to bribe those manning the checkposts to sneak through the border. Kolkata is a 24-hour train journey on the Faluknama Express. Hence, a journey to Bangladesh from Hyderabad takes only three days, whereas traveling to Pakistan takes a week. Moreover, the Faluknama Express passes through soft states like Orissa, which don’t have strict vigilance.

Worse, intelligence officials say ISI has chosen to operate through Bangladesh for strategic reasons.

In Hyderabad, it is easy for a Bangladeshi to melt into the crowd. The old city is home to 18 lakh Muslims, the single largest settlement in the country. Recent police probes have shown that many Bangladeshi nationals have acquired ration cards, driving licences and voter IDs.