The National Investigation Agency (NIA) submitted a charge sheet in the Burdwan blast case in Kolkata on Monday, saying terrorists were using territory in three states to overthrow a democratic government in Bangladesh and replace it with a hard-line Islamic regime.
The charge sheet named 21 individuals, including four Bangladeshi nationals, in the accidental explosion in Burdwan town last October, which left two dead and exposed an unprecedented web of Bangladeshis running a virtual arms-and-explosive network in West Bengal, Assam and Jharkhand.
The accused were charged with offences relating to terrorist acts, recruitment, funding and running of terrorist camps and possession of arms and explosives. The 164-page document also named eight missing suspects and 400 witnesses.
“The investigation was spread over a number of states and revealed the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (Bangladesh) established a network in India, primarily in West Bengal, Assam and Jharkhand. They established organisational bases in Bengal’s Nadia, Burdwan, Murshidabad and Birbhum and the Sahebganj district of Jharkhand,” read an NIA statement.
Terrorists conducted training in firearms and explosives, making improvised explosive devices, radicalisation programmes and organisational meetings.
The state government reluctantly handed over the probe to the NIA, which also found a string of unregulated madrasas that were allegedly used as camps for terror training.
The expose was followed by a high-decibel political slanging match between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress with the saffron party accusing Mamata Banerjee’s regime of conniving with illegal immigrants from Bangladesh for narrow electoral gains.
“We told you Bengal was being used for plotting against Dhaka. The probe in still on and new things can emerge even now,” said BJP national secretary Sidharth Nath Singh.