Date: 02 Sep 2007


Bengal a safe passage for HuJI cadre
2 Sep 2007. 
KOLKATA: In the past three years, about 100 youths in their early twenties hailing from border districts of West Bengal have vanished, say intelligence agencies. These youths are suspected to have crossed over to Bangladesh and have not returned. 

Though many youths from border districts of the state have become victims of human trafficking and eventually been sent to Pakistan and Afghanistan, they, it's suspected, have joined terror outfits, mainly Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami(HuJI). The trend that began in mid-2004 is still on. 

Over the years, West Bengal has turned out to be a safe passage for terrorists belonging to HuJI which is active in Bangladesh and is spreading its tentacles across the border to different parts of India, the agencies say. In the 2006 Mumbai serial blasts and recent terror attacks in other parts of the country, the Bengal link has surfaced. 

About eight months ago, the West Bengal home department had received inputs on increased HuJI activity in the state's border districts. Raids had been conducted in June and three people with suspected HuJI links - Mukhtar Sheikh, Azizur Rahman and Akbar Ali - were arrested. 

Mukhtar and Akbar were allegedly trained in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir(PoK). After their return to India, they were asked to carry a consignment of explosives to be used either in the Mumbai serial blasts or the Shramjeevi Express explosion. 

With the arrests, the probe agencies are trying to establish a link between the terror modules operating from Bengal to the blasts carried out in the country. 

Interestingly, Azizur's brother Mizanur, one of the accused in the 2001 Khadim boss Partha Pratim Roy Burman abduction case, is absconding. The case mastermind, Aftab Ansari, had links with HuJI and Minazur had also worked in tandem with him. 

The police suspect that Mizanur is now in Bangladesh and liaisons between the recruits from India and those running the training camps in other countries.