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Bihar ATS arrest two Bangladeshi terror suspects from Patna

Bihar ATS arrested the two men following inputs by intelligence bureau and seized photocopies of letters related to the deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) in Jammu and Kashmir.

india Updated: Mar 26, 2019 07:57 IST
Avinash Kumar
Avinash Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Bihat,Bihar ATS,Intelligence Bureau
The two suspects are said to be affiliated with the banned Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Islamic State Bangladesh (ISBD) terror outfits.(Representative Photo)

Bihar’s anti-terrorist squad (ATS) arrested two Bangladeshi terror suspects near Patna Junction railway station close to the popular Mahavir Mandir early Monday and seized photocopies of letters related to deployment of central forces in Jammu and Kashmir after the Pulwama attack, fake voter identity cards, PAN cards, and ISIS posters from them.

The duo has been identified as Khairul Mandal and Abu Sultan, residents of Chhapatalla under the limits of Jhenaidah district in Khulna division of Bangladesh. ATS officials said they are affiliated with banned Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Islamic State Bangladesh (ISBD) terror outfits.

The ATS said the two men had entered India without valid passports and had procured fake voter and PAN cards to conceal their identities. They were nabbed on specific inputs from the intelligence bureau (IB).

“After procuring documents, they freely moved around different parts of India, including Kolkata, Kerala, Delhi and Bihar as per instructions from their JMB bosses. They were tasked to lure and induct Muslim youth into their organsiation. The duo carried out reconnaissance of popular Buddhist shrines and other religious places in Bihar. They also stayed in Gaya for 11 days in connection with their nefarious designs,” said an ATS officer.

The JMB was involved in the January 2018 Bodh Gaya explosion. A low intensity bomb blast had taken place near Kalchakra ground in Bodh Gaya on January 19, 2018 when Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama was present in the town. A couple of crude bombs and large quantity of explosives were also recovered from the place.

Mandal and Sultan are the first terror catches by the ATS since its inception in Bihar in 2013. During initial interrogation, ATS members found that the two suspects were in touch with their sponsors and had been trying to enroll youth to develop their sleeper cells. They had fled from Bangladesh and entered India after their top leaders were nabbed in a crackdown by the Seikh Hasina government.

“They were in search of some safe hideout in Patna and could have had plans to carry out some subversive activity,” said the officer, adding the duo has been forwarded to judicial custody. “We would pray for their remand soon for further questioning. Their revelations would help us look into the nature of their activity in Bihar and how far have they been successful in strengthening their network. Two separate teams have been dispatched to Mumbai and other places for investigation,” the officer said.

The ATS also seized three cell phones, a memory card, photo copies of posters and pamphlets of ISIS and other terrorist organizations, railway tickets from New Delhi to Howrah and Gaya to Patna and also a bus ticket from Kolkata to Gaya.

First Published: Mar 25, 2019 21:18 IST