Burdwan investigation: How bad politics can put a nation at risk

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Burdwan, March 31: Jihad from Bangladesh to Bhagdad is a slogan attached to the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh.

As one goes through the investigation papers of the National Investigating Agency in connection with the Burdhwan blast, it only goes on to show how such a dangerous outfit was taking shape in India since the year 2006, thanks to un-checked infiltration and terrible politics.

Burdwan blast

The Burdhwan incident has all the ingredients of a pot boiler- it has drama, corruption, ideology, femme fatales and of course politics. All these factors played a vital role in the establishment of the various modules. A major crackdown in Bangladesh against the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, Bangladesh the operators of the Burdhwan module led to them shifting into India.

Surprisingly, India was safe for them in the year 2006 and they were welcomed with open arms by a section of the politics, especially in West Bengal and Assam. However, one crucial mistake in the month of October 2014 led to them being exposed, following which the crackdown began.

How involved is the ISI?

Speak of terror and there has to be the ISI involved in it. After all the Pakistan spy agency is which oversees every operation undertaken by terror groups in India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan, Afghanistan and now Sri Lanka as well.

The JMB, which is handled by its political masters who are part of the Jamaat-e-Islami have always had a good relationship with the ISI. It is the Jamaat which gives political patronage to several outfits operating out of Bangladesh such as the JMB and the Harkat-ul-Jihadi Islami. There was a time when the HuJI was even referred to as the sister of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.

The ISI's interest in the Bangladesh based terror outfits was a well planned move. Focusing on the groups in Bangladesh made it easier for them to target the North East states and also West Bengal where they found immense potential among some radical thinkers.

The ISI took advantage of the conflict zones in North East and continued to supply terror groups there with arms. Groups such as the ULFA and now the NFDB (S) thrived on the support that was provided to them by the Bangladesh based groups such as the HuJI and the JMB. The continued supply of arms, logistics and also a place to hide in Bangladesh ensured that the relationship grew to scary heights.

Gate crashing post 2006:

In the year 2006, the JMB and the HuJI witnessed troubled times in Bangladesh. Several of their leaders were either killed or jailed and there were clear indications of the groups collapsing. The ISI was quick to make its move and took in the second rung leadership and sheltered them in Pakistan.

Between 2006 and 2008 the HuJI and the JMB began rebuilding with the help of the ISI and this was time it was decided that they would take full advantage of a weak Indian system which had failed miserably in controlling the infiltration issue from Bangladesh.

In the name of infiltration came in the terrorists as well. From Bangldesh they sent in people in batches. For every 100 infiltrators 10 terrorists too would slip in. It went completely unnoticed since none of them came in with arms and ammunition.

Each one of them had come to lay the ground work speak to the local politicians in West Bengal and Assam. Over the years, the numbers increased and it is quite interesting to note that they never once smuggled arms from across the border. Everything was procured locally.

Forging a relationship in Assam:

The NIA chargesheet makes a point about the manner in which the modules of the JMB in West Bengal helped the Bodos in Assam. Taking the services of an operative by the name Sahanur Alom the JMB prepared bombs between 2010 and 2014 in Burdhwan and moved it to Assam. This is when the role of the women came into play. They were tasked with shifting the explosives as the security agencies suspect women less.

The terror groups in North East had become desperate. They were falling short of ammunition and bombs and with their movements being tracked the Indian security agencies had literally cornered them. Worse for them was that several factions had broken away and were engaged in talks with the government to ensure a meaningful resolution to the conflict.

The only way out for the terror groups in Assam who were answerable to their foreign handlers was violence. The JMB module came in handy for them and they managed to get easy access to the bombs made in West Bengal which in turn were used in disrupting peace in the region.

The Sharia law:

The agenda of the JMB does not end with the disruption of peace. The NIA chargesheet speaks about the larger agenda which they have termed as a Greater Bangladesh.

According to the map drawn out showing a greater Bangladesh, the areas of West Bengal and Assam are very much part of it. However the creation of a Greater Bangladesh was not through an arms struggle but with the implementation of a Sharia law.

The JMB had picked several villages along the India-Bangladesh border. Picking up land and setting up of illegal Madrasas was one such ploy.

It was evident when the NIA had zeroed down on several Madrasas operating illegally along the India-Bangladesh border that the agenda of the JMB was the implentation of a Sharia law. The NIA had also tracked down an Indian operative who went by the name Bin Laden running one of the Madrasas.

In all the JMB had successfully managed to set up 50 modules in West Bengal and Assam. Had that bomb not accidentally blown off on October 2 2014 which led to the discovery of the module in Burdhwan, we would never know how far the JMB would have taken its plans.

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