International terrorist links suspected in serial blasts

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Agartala, Oct 2: Security agencies have given a clear indication that last night's serial blasts in the state capital were a planned execution of international terrorist outfit Harkat-Ul-Jihad-Islami (HUJI) and its associates to create tension before Eid and Durga Puja.

Owing to poor security inputs as well as ineffective steps on the part of Tripura police and its intelligence wing against international terrorist outfits, who were using the state as their safe corridor from Bangladesh for long, police failed to prevent the blasts.

Central security officials said Bangladeshi nationals were suspected to be behind the serial blasts in Agartala. Several citizens of the neighbouring country had been apprehended after the Jaipur, Bangalore, Amhedabad and Delhi serial blasts.

Intelligence inputs regarding terrorist movements had also been shared with Tripura, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh police, besides the Union Home Ministry, but it did not yield any result, the sources said.

The last security review meeting of all the agencies reportedly expressed serious concern over the activities of state intelligence agency and alleged that the state government had been provided inputs of international terrorist movements through Tripura time and again but the state administration was reluctant to take any steps.

''After the Jaipur blast both BSF and IB suggested to increase vigil in bordering towns of the state and enhance the intelligence network of the state police, as it was confirmed that a few pockets of Tripura bordering Bangladesh were increasingly becoming a safe corridor for the International terrorists with Harkat-Ul-Jihad-Islami (HUJI)-B operatives often using Tripura as their route to reach mainland India,'' the official stated.

The report had also stated that global terrorist networks, including Pakistan-based ISI, Al-Qaida and Bangladesh-based HUJI activists were using Sonamura, Agartala and Kailashahar of Tripura and Karimganj and towns of upper Assam to enter India and most of them did not possess valid passports.

The issue was again brought to the notice of the Union Home Ministry and both the Tripura and West Bengal police were alerted that international terrorists were planning to hit Indian cities soon after the Jaipur blast following the arrest of one Sagam Ali at Bhagalpur area of Agartala.

Sagam had claimed that he was a beggar, but the papers regarding his international movements and other incriminating documents seized from his possession did not substantiate the claim.

Four active mobile SIM cards, including one of Bangladesh, and an amulet containing the name, an international passport and address of a Karachi-based suspected ISI agent were seized from the possession of Sagam Ali, a resident of Bongaigaon in Assam, whose passport was issued from Guwahati last year.

He was alleged to be a member of a Bangladesh-based outfit - Hazrat Shah Sultan Gyasuddin Awalia - and travelled extensively through Bangladesh and Pakistan last year. Earlier, in April, one Mamun Mian, a resident of Bangladesh, was arrested by West Bengal police from Agartala. Tripura Food Minister Sahid Choudhury had been forced to resign from the sixth Left Front Ministry for his alleged association with Mamun. Three cases have been filed against Mamun in Tripura and West Bengal, as initial investigation established that Mamun had links with international terrorist organisations like HUJI and presently he is lodged in a West Bengal jail.

The BSF and Tripura police had launched joint operations in selected Indo-Bangladesh bordering villages in different parts of the state following the arrest of Mamun Mian, alias Suman Majumdar, from Agartala, allegedly involved in anti-Indian activities and explosives trafficking network.

The Bangladeshi arms dealer, who was arrested from a rented house at Ramnagar area in Agartala town, and suspected to have links with Harkat-Ul-Jihad-Islami, was shifted to Kolkata by the CID officials of West Bengal police.

Official sources stated that West Bengal police, on January 15, had nabbed two other Bangladeshi nationals - Shamim Akhtar and Alamgir Hussain - from Shalimar area with several incriminating documents pertaining to maps and details of Army camps in North Bengal areas.

Mamun was staying at the rented house with an assumed name of Suman Majumdar and he had also got his Permanent Residence Certificate from here, police said.

It was suspected that both the Bangladeshi nationals were members of terrorist outfits and were conducting some reconnaissance on Indian military establishments at the behest of foreign intelligence agencies, a senior official of Central intelligence bureau said.

Intelligence agencies here had always suspected that Tripura, especially Akhaura (Agartala), Sonamura in West Tripura districts, Dharmanagar and Kailashahar borders in North Tripura districts, were being used by Bangladeshi terrorists, criminals as well as DGFI and ISI recruits to enter other states in the country's heartland for carrying out anti-Indian activities.

''The anti Indian elements could have already established 'modules' in this bordering state which help them during their stay and travel to other states,'' the official pointed out.


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