Over 40 days after an accidental blast at a house in West Bengal’s Burdwan district exposed a statewide terror network, authorities found on Wednesday the identity of one of the militants who was killed in the blast while making bombs.
Family members identified the dead militant as Karim Sheikh of Kaferpur village of Birbhum district, police sources said. Another militant Shakil Ahmed was killed in the explosion, but Karim, who was rushed to Burdwan Medical College Hospital, lied to the police about his identity, saying he was Sobhan Mondal, a resident of East Midnapore district.
Police later found both the name and address to be false and have since been looking to establish the dead person’s identity.
Sources told HT the puzzle was solved when National Investigation Authority (NIA) officials questioned Amjad Sheikh, another militant arrested on Monday in connection with the blast. Amjad said he knew Karim as both came from Kirnahar in Birbhum district.
“When NIA showed us the picture of the person who died at the hospital after the blast, we identified him as our brother. But it is difficult to identify the decomposed body that the police showed us today,” said Karim’s brother, Amirul Hossain.
NIA and police officials reached Burdwan police morgue with Karim’s father and brothers on Wednesday morning. Karim’s father Jamshed Sheikh, a vegetable shop owner, collapsed on seeing the body.
The family later took Karim’s body with them to perform the last rites. Jamshed Sheikh said his family was not aware of Karim’s alleged links with terror group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and he had last seen him a couple of months ago when he left for Kerala in search of a job.
“I am not aware of his (Karim’s) terror links,” he said. “He left the village two-and-a-half months ago.”
After the October 2 blast in the Burdwan house, the NIA is probing a statewide terror network run by alleged members of the Bangladesh-based JMB. Eight people have so far been arrested in connection with the blast.