Bangla terror suspect held near border with Nepal

Joint operation by NIA Bengal, Nepal police

Bangla terror suspect held near border with Nepal

The arrest of a 29-year-old youth from the Indo-Nepal border has alarmed Central and state security and intelligence community, investigating the October 2 blast at Burdwan. 

Although there is no official confirmation forthcoming, sources said that the youth is none other than Sheikh Yusuf Gazi, a key figure in the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh’s (JuMB) extensive terror network in India.

According to sources, Yusuf was arrested on Monday from Kakarbhitta near Nepal border in a joint operation of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), West Bengal Police’s Special Task Force and the Nepal Police. Once established as Yusuf, this would be the first arrest made in the Burdwan blast case from across an international border. He is currently being interrogated by the NIA.

Sources said that Yusuf was arrested from the house of one Gurung, who is a known arms dealer. “We have information that Gurung was active in supplying weapons to the Nepalese Maoists before they came to power in the Himalayan republic. We are investigating if JuMB has spread its tentacles in Nepal and whether Gurung played any role in providing the terror outfit with arms,” an official said.

Yusuf, originally hailing from Bangladesh, moved to Beldanga in Murshidabad district of West Bengal, close to the Indo-Bangladesh border and has been active in recruiting youths for terror activities.

He has been identified as the man behind Shimulia madrasah in Burdwan where the bomb-makers, two of whom died in the October 2 blast, were recruited and trained. A key JuMB operative, he was the man behind recruiting and training several operatives from Bengal and Assam, sources said.

While the Nepal angle has come up as a new feature on JuMB’s terror map, sources in the West Bengal government said that during his Monday’s visit, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval briefed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on growing terror activities in north Bengal, which is close to both Nepal and Bangladesh. Doval reportedly also handed over to Mamata a list of JuMB operatives operating in the region.

According to sources, during their two-hour-long meeting, Doval pointed out Jalpaiguri district in north Bengal as the next big stop in JuMB’s terror network, given its easy access to districts like Malda, Murshidabad and Cooch Behar, which are also easily accessible from Assam, Nepal and Bangladesh. 

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