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Three Bangladesh nationals arrested over Al-Qaeda links in Pune

“The three accused are aged between 25 and 31 years and hail either from Khulna or Shariyatpur in Bangladesh,” said a senior ATS officer, requesting anonymity. The three had been staying illegally, without any authorised travel documents, for the last five years in Wanowrie and Akurdi areas.

pune Updated: Mar 18, 2018 14:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Bangladesh nationals,Al-Qaeda links,Pune
The arrested Bangladeshis (covered heads) are Mohammad Ripan Hossein (25), Hannan Anwar Khan alias Hanan Babarali Ghazi (28) and Mohammadwadi Habibur Rahman alias Raj Jesub Mandal (31). (Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested three Bangladeshi nationals suspected to have links with Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) – a front organisation of Al-Qaeda and banned outfit in Bangladesh – from Wanowrie and Akurdi areas on Friday.

The arrested suspects are Mohammad Ripan Hossein (25), Hannan Anwar Khan alias Hanan Babarali Ghazi (28) and Mohammadwadi Habibur Rahman alias Raj Jesub Mandal (31).

The suspects were produced before Session Judge RN Sardesai who remanded the trio in police custody till March 29.

“The three accused are aged between 25 and 31 years and hail either from Khulna or Shariyatpur in Bangladesh,” said a senior ATS officer, requesting anonymity. The three had been staying illegally, without any authorised travel documents, for the last five years in Wanowrie and Akurdi areas.

During their interrogation, they revealed that they had provided shelter and other help to the members of ABT during their stay in Pune, the official added. Acting on specific inputs, the Pune unit of Maharashtra ATS carried out a search operation in Wanowrie yesterday and apprehended one Bangladeshi national.

His interrogation led the ATS to nab two more Bangladeshi nationals who were staying at Akurdi. They were carrying PAN and Aadhaar cards obtained by using forged documents, said ATS officials.

The officer said one of the arrested accused stayed and worked near a sensitive establishment.

“Investigation has revealed that these accused and their accomplices were helping the active members of ABT, which is supposedly a front organisation of Al-Qaeda, to hide in India. They were also helping terrorist activities financially and through various other ways,” the officer said.

He said the three accused worked as construction labourers and had procured SIM cards using forged documents. A case under Section 19, 20 Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Section 465, 467, 468, 471 of the IPC, and Section 3, 6 Passport (Entry into India) and Section 14 Foreigners Act has been registered.

According to the officer, the ATS is also probing whether they had any links with the six Bangladesh nationals, who were arrested from Panvel three days ago by the newly-formed Navi Mumbai unit of ATS.

First Published: Mar 18, 2018 14:28 IST