KOLKATA: Two Ansar Bangla operatives from Bangladesh and one arms dealer from West Bengal were nabbed in a major operation by Kolkata Special Task Force (STF) at Kolkata railway station in Chitpur on Tuesday. Ansar Bangla is an Al Qaeda affiliate and part of the Al Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent (AQIS). STF deputy commissioner Muralidhar Sharma said that names of major Kolkata landmarks such as Esplanade bus terminus and Eden Garden stadium were found scribbled on a piece of paper, which suggests that they had planned to carry out a major strike in the city. Some fake Aadhaar cards were also found.
“The accused are 26-year-old Samshad Mia, a resident of Sunamganj district in Bangladesh; 24-year-old Riyaz, a resident of Khulna district of Bangladesh and 46-year-old Manotosh Dey, a resident of Basirhat subdivision of North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. Shamshad and Riyaz are Ansar Bangla operatives. Besides arms and explosives, a large number of Al Qaeda manuals to conduct surveillance and set up bombs have been recovered, along with Islamic speeches in Bengali and English,” he said.
“The men were residing illegally in Kolkata for the last 18 months without passports or visas. They had come to purchase weapons from Manotosh Dey. The accused had also been to chemical manufacturing companies and some visiting cards of these firms have been recovered from them,” he added.