How an over-dose of secularism helped this terror group thrive in Bengal
New Delhi, July 11: The Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, Bangladesh took advantage of two factors while setting up its modules in West Bengal.
An overly secular approach in the state, so much that it led to appeasement proved to be a major advantage for the group. Today the outfit which allies with the ISIS has become a headache not just in Bangladesh, but in West Bengal as well.
Officials in the National Investigation Agency point out that the activities of the JMB had been going on for long in West Bengal. However it was in the aftermath of the Burdwan blast was the gravity of the situation known.
A secular approach is not always good:
While the Constitution of India ensures that the country is secular, the problem begins when it leads to appeasement. Most within the establishment had looked the other way knowing fully well that the JMB was going about its activities.
The JMB had made its entry into Bengal with the help of the SIMI which is active in the state. Moreover cadres of the SIMI are well connected in political circles and this only added to the advantage of the outfit.
Another shocker was when the entire establishment ignored posters put out by the JMB in parts of Bengal. The posters were an advertisement for the youth to join the JMB. The Intelligence Bureau had pointed towards the same in 2015 itself, but it was clearly ignored and this could have been due to appeasement, an officer points out.
The manner in which they have recruited shows that they had nothing to fear. The arrest of a 19 year old student at Durgapur had led to the investigators getting a lot of details. The JMB cadres are particularly active in the border areas. They targeted unemployed youth in the age group of 19 and 30. This included girls too.
They were all picked up, brainwashed before being moved to training camps.
During the brainwashing session, these youth were told that they were unemployed because of the current set up. If they fought for the JMB, then an Islamic State would be established and this would be the answer to their problems, the recruiter would say.
The ISIS problem:
The JMB today allies with the ISIS. The two groups have said that their intention is to establish a Bengal Caliphate. The problem haunting the officials today is that there are a great deal of youth in Bengal who are leaning towards the ISIS. This has made it all the more easier for the JMB to recruit cadres.
Investigations by the NIA which included analysing the call records of some of the cadres revealed that they were in regular touch with handles in Syria. Some of the call details even revealed that they were in touch with some persons in Bangladesh.