The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday said the accused persons arrested in the Burdwan blast case and their associates were members of terror group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, Bangladesh, who were preparing IEDs for transporting them to that country for possible terror attacks.
In a statement issued Friday night, NIA said it had completed initial phase of probe in the case pertaining to bomb blast in a house at Khagragarh village in Burdawan district of West Bengal which indicates the involvement of JMB cadre. Two persons--Shakil Ahmed and Suvon Mandal alias Subhan --both allegedly residents of Bangladesh, were killed while manufacturing IEDs.
One person Abdul Hakim alias Hassan was injured and arrested besides three others including two women. "Investigation so far has revealed that the accused persons and their associates were the members of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, Bangladesh (JMB), a terrorist organisation proscribed in Bangladesh and they were preparing IEDs which were being transported to Bangladesh," NIA said in the statement.
The agency said it is focussing on the activities of JMB covering all aspects including the funding of terror activities. NIA said it is also considering announcement of cash rewards for any information leading to the arrest of the absconding accused of this case who include JMB members from Bangladesh.
NIA chief Sharad Kumar today visited Burdwan and inspected the scene of the incident and also took stock of the field investigation being conducted by the agency. He visited the house where the blast took place, examined the rooms and went up to the terrace of the building.
After spending about 30 minutes there, he went to visit another house at nearby Mathpara on Badsahi Road in Burdwan where 40 improvised hand grenades were found.
The NIA Director-General also visited the house which one of the suspected dead terrorists Shakil had rented in Beldanga in Murshidabad. He also went to 'Burqa Ghar', apparently a burqa making unit run by Ahmed but suspected to have been used by him as a place to meet other accused persons. Kumar discussed with NIA officers the strategy to locate and apprehend the absconding accused with the officers of the investigating team, after which he said strategies have been worked out to arrest the absconding accused persons. The visit of the NIA DG to Burdwan town came two weeks after the agency took over investigations into the blast at Khagragarh on October 2.
"I have come to Kolkata to review the investigation into the case. I visited Burdwan and Murshidabad. I had a detailed discussion with my officers. We have evolved strategies regarding arrests of absconding accused persons. I can't reveal anything because it will affect the investigation," Kumar told reporters on his return to Kolkata after visiting Burdwan and Murshidabad.
NIA investigators during a search operation jointly with the Burdwan district police found Improvised Explosive Devices from this house belonging to Rezaul Karim. Three persons, including two women - one of them the widow of a suspected terrorist who died in the blast - were arrested and interrogated by the NIA. The NIA chief later left for Beldanga in Murshidabad district and visited the house which one of the suspected dead terrorists Shakil had rented. He also visited 'Burqa Ghar', apparently a burqa making unit run by Ahmed but suspected to have been used by him as a place to meet other accused persons. The NIA team during its investigation over the last few days seized a large number of books and documents, 12 trunks and a car from a madrasa in Burdwan district where the Khagragarh blast accused were suspected to have been radicalised in Jihadi ideology.
NIA officers had a few days back with the help of the NSG team detonated the improvised hand grenades, which they had found during investigations.