The role of a madarsa at Mangalkot in Burdwan district, as a nursery for jihadi ideals swung into the limelight as a team of CID and police officers raided on it on Monday night.
The women-only madarsa is where Runi Bibi and Amina Bibi, who were arrested on Sunday in connection with the blast, underwent jihadi training. On Monday, the CID arrested accused Abdul Hakim — who was injured in the blast and is undergoing treatment.
Police officers told HT that the jihadi training was not to be confused with the training in arms and combat imparted to terrorists but was an indoctrination through studies instead. The officers cautioned some people at the madarsa but did not shut it down.
Hasem Mollah, who was arrested Sunday, was interrogated by the senior CID officers at Bhwani Bhavan in Kolkata on Tuesday. Prior to joining this group, Mollah was familiar with Abul Kalam, another accused. “Not only did they get training, but these two would also impart training to new students. The two women got training in firearms too,” said a CID sleuth, adding that the women may have travelled to Bangladesh through the porous border.
An officer of Burdwan police said that after the blast on October 2, the women and an injured Abdul Hakim attempted to flee the spot but did not succeed as neighbours had spotted the body of Shakil Ahmed – which they tried to leave behind.
A small lathe machine was recovered from the spot. “The machine was used for making explosives,” police said, adding, “The accused were trying to install a bigger
lathe machine. They needed a skillful lathe machine operator to work it. Runi Bibi told us that her husband and others were talking about it.” The CID have also identified two other suspects — Yusuf Seikh and Shanawaj Biwi — who are absconding.