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Another JMB suspect nabbed in Bengal, arms and explosives recovered

Azhar Hossain is the fourth alleged Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh member to be held in the last one week.

kolkata Updated: Feb 05, 2018 21:45 IST
Sreyasi Pal
Sreyasi Pal
Hindustan Times, Berhampore
Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh,JMB,Militant
A police team raided Azhar Hossain’s house and seized 75 rounds of ammunition, a loaded magazine, 25 kg of explosives and some jihadi literature on a tip-off.

A suspected militant affiliated to the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a banned terror outfit responsible for the 2014 Burdwan blast, was arrested in Murshibad district on Sunday night.

Azhar Hossain (22) is the fourth alleged JMB member to be held in the last one week. Shamserganj police said a large cache of ammunition and IED explosives was recovered from his possession.

“We arrested Hossain from Ratanpur village on Sunday night,” said Amit Kumar Bhakat, officer-in-charge of the Shamsherganj police station. They later produced him before a court in Jangipur, and sought 14-day police custody.

While two alleged militants – Paigambar Sheikh (24) and Jamirul Sheikh (31) – were arrested from Murshidabad and Siliguri on January 30 in connection with a low-intensity blast at Bodh Gaya late last year, a third – Shish Mohammad – was held in Shamserganj later. A National Investigation Agency team probing the Burdwan blast has uncovered an alleged JMB network spread across at least four districts of the state (Nadia, Birbhum, Murshidabad and Burdwan).

Police have slapped several charges under sections 120 (concealing design to commit offence punishable with imprisonment), 121 (waging, or attempting to wage war against the government of India), 122 (collecting arms with the intention of waging war against the government of India) and 123 (concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war) against Hossain.

Officers of the district intelligence wing said a police team raided his house and seized 75 rounds of ammunition, a loaded magazine, 25 kg of explosives and some jihadi literature on a tip-off. While Hossain works as a van driver, he came into contact with JMB members over the last few months.

According to police, JMB leader Salauddin had delivered a speech at Dhulian in Murshidabad a few months ago at a secret event attended by Mohammad and Hossain. The duo had joined the banned group soon afterwards.

Mohammad and Hossain were allegedly trained in manufacturing IEDs by Mijan Sheikh, an explosives expert affiliated to the JMB.

“Interrogations of the arrested persons have revealed that several modules and sleeper cells of the JMB are now active in Murshidabad and neighbouring districts. They have recruited several youngsters so far,” a police officer said on the condition of anonymity.

First Published: Feb 05, 2018 21:43 IST