The quantum of punishment for all 19 accused, who confessed their guilt in Burdwan blast case probed by National Investigation Agency (NIA), was pronounced on Friday by the chief judge of city sessions court, Kolkata.
Four Bangladeshi nationals were sentenced to 10 years in prison while six-year imprisonment to two women and rest were sentenced to eight years in prison.
Siddhartha Kanjilal, the chief judge, slapped all the convicts with a fine of Rs 20,000 for each and another one-year in prison if they fail to pay it.
Out of 31 accused rounded up by the NIA, these 19 pled guilty in writing on Wednesday before the magistrate. They earlier admitted their guilt verbally on August 12.
All the accused, who were booked by the NIA, were said to be operatives of Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), an outlawed militant outfit headquartered in Bangladesh. The presence of JMB in West Bengal emerged after the blast at Khagragarh in Burdwan town in which two persons were killed.
Investigation by the NIA revealed a two of JMB operatives had rented a first-floor apartment with their families to hoodwink local people and used the facility to manufacture improvised explosive devices. Incident caught national attention and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval visited the site. The personnel of National Security Guard (NSG) were engaged to carry out search operations during the course of investigation.
"During the probe, we found a madrasa at Shimulia, 30 km from Burdwan town, where a training centre was being run by the JMB operatives. Young people used to be given training there. Though two families rented the apartment at Khagragarh, but the key operatives of the outfit used to operate from the madrasa," said an NIA official.
The four Bangladeshi nationals—Sheikh Rahamatullah alias Burhan Sheikh, Sadiq Islam, Liakat Ali Pramanik alias Rafiqul and Habibur Rahman—were described among the key players behind setting up JMB modules in south Bengal in the charge sheet submitted by the NIA.
The judge, in his order, held two women convicts, Gulshona Bibi and Alima Bibi, guilty of having knowledge of JMB’s activities in Bengal
The NIA booked the convicts under stringent IPC sections that deals with waging war against the state and hatching criminal conspiracy other than slapping them with Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Explosive Substances Act.