When Gaya terrorist confessed he was JMB chief

When Gaya terrorist confessed he was JMB chief

The arrest of India Head of the terrorist organisation Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Ejaz Ahmad, from Gaya is a prize catch for the Bihar and Bengal police, besides intelligence sleuths. File photo for representation

The arrest of India Head of the terrorist organisation Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Ejaz Ahmad, from Gaya is a prized catch for the Bihar and Bengal police, besides intelligence sleuths. The 31-year-old terrorist, who was apprehended after a tip-off to the West Bengal Special Task Force (STF) was wanted by the police for his involvement in Kolkata, Burdwan and Khagragarh blasts (all in WB).

A chemical engineer, who had expertise in manufacturing the improvised explosive devices (IEDs), Ejaz stayed in Gaya, the holy town of Bihar, after changing his name as Taufeeq Raza. To escape suspicion, he rented accommodation and stayed with his wife and three children. Working as a vendor selling garments, Ejaz shifted his rented accommodation in Gaya from Manpur to Abgila and then to Pathantoli in the last one year.

Hours after his arrest, he pleaded innocence before the joint team of Bengal STF, Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and Gaya Police insisting that he was a cloth merchant and “eke out a living by selling clothes/garments”.

Prior to his arrest, the Bengal police had arrested Kausar Ahmad, the India head of the JMB, for his role in Burdwan blasts. Kausar admitted that Ejaz was the brain behind the explosions but feigned ignorance about his whereabouts.

Sources in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) told Deccan Herald that a fortnight back, the West Bengal STF got a tip-off that Ejaz, an original native of Birbhum, was staying in Gaya, where he sold garments for few days in a month  and the rest of the days were used in radicalising Muslim youths, besides recruiting sleeper cells for the terror group. It was in this context that the soft-spoken Ejaz earlier traveled to Karnataka and Kerala too where he is believed to have met several Bengali laborers and radicalised them.

After confirmation about his activities, the cops raided and apprehended him from Gaya. Ejaz continued to plead innocence but when he was made to talk to Kausar on phone, he gave in and broke down. “It was then that he revealed his identity as the new chief of JMB,” said the IB source. He was produced before the local court in Gaya which on Tuesday allowed the West Bengal police to take him on transit remand.

“After the arrest of Kausar and 12 other terrorists of JMB, Ejaz was made India Head of JMB and given the task to recruit sleeper cells for the newly-formed Jamaat-ul Mujahidden India (JMI), an affiliated group of JMB. His arrest is a major success for the ATS,” said the source here on Wednesday. 

Gaya had witnessed serial blasts in 2013, besides terror attack in 2018 during the visit of Dalai Lama.