Trinamool MP Imran accused of links with Bangladesh terror groups

Hindustan Times | By, Kolkata
Jan 02, 2015 11:05 PM IST

Ahmed Hassan Imran attended and helped organise seminars where jihadi leaders made anti-India speeches, claim spy agencies.

Ahmed Hassan Imran, the controversial Trinamool Congress MP who was one of the founders of banned Islamic students' organisation SIMI, also had alleged links with top leaders of Bangladesh-based terror groups and attended and helped organise seminars where jihadi leaders made anti-India speeches.

A dossier prepared by intelligence agencies--accessed by Hindustan Times--on the 61-year-old Rajya Sabha MP said Imran was in touch with leaders of Bangladesh-based terror group, Jamaat-e-Islami--previously known as Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh (JMB).

It alleged that Imran had links with Soukat Ali, a close associate of Siddikur Rahaman alias Bangla Bhai--a Taliban veteran of the Afghan war who reportedly masterminded the 2005 serial blasts in Bangladesh. "Soukat was in touch with Imran," said the report.

According to the dossier, Imran used to go to Bangladesh regularly after 1977 when his sister got married in that country. "There, Imran met several JMB leaders like Golam Azam, Motiur Rahaman and Dilwar Hossain," it said. Incidentally, all these leaders have been awarded capital punishment for their role in the 1971 Bangladesh war of independence.

But Imran dismissed the allegations, saying he did not meet any Jamaat leader. "All these intelligence reports are baseless," he said. "I do not know any of the persons named in those. I did go to Bangladesh several times as my sister lives in Dhaka, but I never met Jamaat leaders."

The report also said Imran was present in seminars attended by JMB leaders in Kolkata and Howrah in 2000-01, where anti-India and anti-Awami League speeches were made. It said Jamaat leaders Abul Kasem Ali and Abu Jafar spoke against India and Bangladesh's Awami League at a seminar in Kolkata's Jibanananda Sabhagriha in March 2000 organised by Imran's magazine, Kalom.

HT Image
HT Image

Later, Imran sold off the magazine at a huge premium to Saradha group cief Sudipta Sen. The intelligence agencies probing the Saradha scam are now investing this deal too.

What's more, the Howrah seminar of Kalom was organised in March 2000 by Saudia Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB), an organisation much opposed by liberal activists in Bangladesh. Imran's ties with the bank: he worked as a counsellor - advising the bank on funding projects for strengthening and spreading Islam -- till 2003. "Top Jaamat leader Golam Azam's son was also present at the seminar where he told that Islam is greater than a nation," the report said.

Imran, who joined the SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) during its formation in 1977 and was president of its West Bengal chapter, however, denied having been present at any seminar with JMB leaders.

"I was not present in any seminar at Jibanananda Sabhagriha where JMB leaders were allegedly present," he told HT. "As a counselor, I went to the Howrah seminar where the IDB managing director was also present. The seminar was on Islamic philosophy. I have no idea about the presence of any Jamaat leader there."

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    Soumen Datta is a Special Correspondent of Hindustan Times. He is a crime reporter having experience in crime and investigative reporting for more than 15 years.

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