KOLKATA: The NSA, along with the country’s top security officials, who inspected the October 2 terror blast site at Burdwan on Monday, met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to apprise her of the alarming situation in the state. On Monday morning, NSA Ajit Doval, MHA Special Secretary Prakash Mishra, DG NSG Jayanta Narayan Choudhury, DG NIA Sharad Kumar and IB Director Syed Asif Ibrahim reached the blast site at Burdwan, where an accidental explosion occurred during Durga Puja when Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh terrorists were manufacturing explosives on a large scale.
In the incident, JuMB terrorists Shakil Gazi and Subhan Mondal died on the spot and another terrorist Abdul Hakim was critically injured. Grenades, rocket launchers and 33 kinds of chemicals for making explosives were later seized by the district police. The high-level team held a meeting of district officials and reviewed the situation.
The NIA was entrusted with the investigation on October 9 directly by the MHA following opposition from the state government. The state government had discovered a madrasa where ‘jihadi’ philosophy and arms training were imparted to Muslim youths, including women. It had also seized 39 hand grenades from a house near the blast site belonging to another terrorist Rezaul Sheikh. NIA DG Sharad Kumar had last week visited the blast site as well as the madrasas in Burdwan and Murshdabad, which has borders with Bangladesh, where terror training camps were being held for the last several years.
The top security officials later met Mamata at ‘Nabanna’, the State Secretariat, in the presence of Chief Secretary Sanjoy Mitra and Home Secretary Basudeb Baandyopadhyay. They apprised her of the alarming situation in West Bengal due to infiltration by terrorists from Bangladesh who had been using West Bengal as his operational base.
Later talking to the media, Mishra said, “We visited Burdwan where the blast took place and later went to Kolkata to meet the Chief Minister. The Government of India has taken the case very seriously and that is why the NSA too came.”
“The Chief Minister assured us of all help. The Central agencies and the state police will work together in combating terrorism,” he said. DG NSG Choudhury had a good rapport with Mamata since he was in Kolkata for several years as Joint Director of Intelligence Bureau, while she was the Opposition leader.
The team also briefed the CM on at least 58 Islamic terror modules and at least 180 terrorists hiding in the state.
One of the terror master minds, Sheikh Yusuf, who hailed from Shimulia, had undergone jihadi training at Azamgarh in UP and returned after establishing links with IM and SIMI leaders to organise terror training modules in mushrooming madrasas and built explosive manufacturing units in the border state.
Yusuf, whom the NIA suspect, is now hiding in North Bengal and might try to crossover to Nepal, did not only provide funds for establishing the terror training camp at the Shimulia madrasa, but also in several other parts of the state and also in Assam. He is considered to be the main link man to keep in touch with SIMI-IM terror modules in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, UP and Jharkhand.