Arrested al Qaeda operatives spill more names to NIA investigators
Sleuths of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) have learnt a few more names after interrogating the six alleged al Qaeda operatives for two consecutive days in Kolkata, officials have said.
On Monday evening officials of the central agency flew to Delhi with the six accused, who were arrested from West Bengal’s Murshidabad district on Saturday.
Senior police officials aware of the development said that the NIA sleuths had got to know about a messaging platform on which the alleged operatives used to interact. There were more than a dozen members in that group.
“We have learnt a few more names. Raids are going on to nab them,” said a senior police officer, associated with the developments.
Officials also said that most of the members of the messaging platform had come back from Kerala during the Covid-19 pandemic and were residents of Malda and Murshidabad. The six arrested men used to work with them in Kerala. NIA had on Saturday arrested three more men from Kerala.
One of the men whose name has cropped up during interrogation was found to be absconding. He was identified as Munna Ansari, a resident of Jalangi in Murshidabad.
“After they arrested my brother and he was being taken away I saw the police thrashing him and asking the whereabouts of Munna. My brother kept on telling them that he doesn’t know where Munna stays,” said Isab Ali, brother of Atitur Rehman, one of the arrested men.
Jia-ul Mondol, a friend of Ansari, told the media that police may be mistaken as Ansari was known to be a ‘good man’.
“I know him (Ansari) very well. He can’t have terrorist links. The police may be mistaken. He has fled because I think he is too frightened after some of his friends were arrested,” said Mondol.
The six arrested men are likely to be produced at the Patiala Court in Delhi. Before being taken to Delhi they were all tested for Covid-19. They have all tested negative.