There has been a hue and cry today following the statement in Parliament on the Saradha-Burdhwan link. Many termed the statement by the Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh, as a clean chit to the Trinamool Congress (TMC), which has been accused of shielding the accused of both the Burdhwan and Saradha incidents.
Before we look into this, let us see what exactly the minister told the Lok Sabha in a written response, "The investigation has so far not revealed any such transaction where money was routed to Bangladesh to fund terrorist activities." [Modi Govt contradicts Amit Shah, says Burdwan blast and Saradha not linked]
This would mean that till date the investigation has not revealed a link. However the Indian agencies are also working hard on a report by Bangladesh which has sniffed out a link.
Further the minister who was asked whether the government has sought details of the probe into the Saradha chit fund scam after reports indicated that a part of the money was routed to Bangladesh to fund terror activities. The minister said that the government has not sought the probe report. He also said that the matter is under investigation.
On September 19th, Bangladesh told India that funds from the Saradha scam could be reaching some groups promoting terrorism on its soil. Bangladesh even took the name of Jamaat-e-Islami while expressing this concern.
Bangladesh also said that there was an inflow of funds intended of causing trouble in Bangladesh ahead of the elections that were held on January 5 in Bangladesh. The intelligence in Bangladesh had told its government that Saradha money was being used to rake up problems.
Further, Bangladesh also told India that there were outfits within India which were suspected to have helped enhance the problem in Bangladesh. They had also given concrete information on how the funds reached the Islamic Bank of Bangladesh before being routed for terror activities and also into other countries to be parked in safe havens.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Meeting the NSA
While this was being conveyed, even the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali held a meeting with the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in New Delhi and expressed the same concern. He told the NSA that there were concerns that some part of the Saradha funds had flown into Bangladesh.
Saradha money was being used to rake up problems: Bangladesh Intelligence
What Indian Intelligence Agencies say
The Indian Intelligence Bureau was the first to red flag TMC MP, Ahmed Hassan Imran. The IB in its report had accused the MP of helping Bangladesh outfits. His name had also been dragged into the Saradha scam and was even questioned by the Enforcement Directorate. He however denied all charges.
The IB says that there is no doubt that money has moved and based on the Intelligence sharing with Bangladesh there is a clear indicator that some part of the money was being used to fund terror activities.
Probe needs more time
The Burdhwan and the Saradha probe are going to take longer. So far the agencies are working on the modus operandi and are still finding the people who are involved in the incident. On the Saradha front, the CBI has a long way to go. There is a delay in the probe with some members of the TMC not cooperating.
Moreover apart from the CBI the Enforcement Directorate too is working on the case. In addition to this the Serious Frauds Investigation Office has given its recommendations which is also being worked on by both the CBI and the ED.
Both the cases are being probed independently and the NIA has even indicated that it would need 5 months more.
Both the CBI and NIA would then have to sit together and piece together the evidence which includes what Bangladesh has shared before a final conclusion is reached.