Burdwan blast: NIA to focus on Assam & Meghalaya links

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Burdwan blast: NIA to focus on NE links
Burdwan (West Bengal), Oct 29: The National Investigating Agency (NIA) probing the Burdwan blast case will also focus on the role of some elements in Assam and Meghalaya as well. NIA sources informed that there are a large number of militants who have taken refuge in Assam following the crack down after the Burdwan incident came to light.

[Read: JMB terrorists planned to assassinate Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina?]

As per the preliminary investigation and the questioning of the six youth who were arrested two days ago, it was learnt that Assam was a back module which was used as a safe hide out for infiltrators before launching them into West Bengal to be part of the main stream module.

Assam police to share information

The Assam police will share information with the NIA regarding the role of some NGOs who had allegedly helped the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) set up modules in Assam as well. At least eight NGOs are under the scanner which acted as frontal organisation to set up cells in Assam.

The JMB used a two-pronged strategy for this operation. They infiltrated their militants numbering nearly 180 since the past four years and divided them into batches.

Main modules based in West Bengal

The main modules were based in West Bengal while the hideouts were mainly set in Barapeta, NIA sources also claimed. Like in the case of West Bengal some local leaders were seen to be helping this group. The BJP had accused the AIUDF of aiding the militants but this claim was denied.

What the 6 arrested youth said

Moreover, the arrests of six youth from Assam have given the agencies more to work on. They have told their investigators that they were kept on standby. They said that they were trained by the JMB for the same operation.

They claimed that they had first infiltrated into West Bengal 's Madhyamgram where they obtained documents. They were then sent to Assam where they told to be on standby. What the Assam module was asked to do is to shield operatives. NIA officials beleive that several JMB members could have first fled to Assam taken cover and then moved to Bangladesh after this entire episode broke out.

NGOs under the scanner

The NIA will also probe the local links in Assam. There are a few NGOs run by local politicians which are under the scanner. Some separatist groups, too, are being investigated and have been accused of helping infiltrators since several years.

Assam militant groups have been aiding groups from Bangladesh especially the Harkat-ul-Jihadi Islami for several years. It was with this support that the HUJI-B managed to set up its module in Hyderabad which was headed by Shahid Bilal.

Bengal & Assam had long links, says IB official

Terror in West Bengal and Assam are interconnected for several years now, sayid an Intelligence Bureau official. Similar groups such as the JMB and the HUJI-B which function out of Bangladesh have used both Assam and West Bengal to spread their operation.

Recently, even the chief minister of Assam had said there are credible intelligence inputs regarding the Al-Qaeda trying to set up a base in Assam. The Al-Qaeda is a partner to both the HUJI-B and the JMB.

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