Three more suspects have been arrested here in connection with the blast in West Bengal’s Burdwan, amid a joint Indo-Bangla operation along the borders to nab over 100 militants of the outlawed Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
“The three are members of JMB. We are suspecting that they have links with bomb-making (materials) discovered after the explosions in Burdwan,” a senior official of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) told reporters today.
Deputy Commissioner Masudur Rahman briefly said three JMB activists have been arrested from the capital last night and the details would be disclosed later at a press briefing here.
Another official familiar with the arrest said the three suspected militants were arrested along with some explosives.
The arrest came shortly after a Bangladeshi security team returned home after sharing info on the issue with officials in India. Earlier, an National Investigation Agency (NIA) from India delegation visited Dhaka.
A member of the Bangladesh delegation that returned home yesterday told reporters that law enforcement agencies of the two countries already launched simultaneous drives in their territories to capture over a hundred JMB operatives in line with a decision taken during the NIA team’s Bangladesh visit.
“The drives are being carried out following the exchange of concrete information between investigators of the two neighbours regarding operatives of the banned outfit in India and Bangladesh,” the official told the Daily Star newspaper.
He said JMB militants who crossed the border are already on the run as Indian investigators are desperately looking for them after the Burdwan blast.
On October 2, two suspected JMB operatives were killed and another injured in an explosion at a house in Burdwan area, bordering Bangladesh.
Earlier, Bangladesh police said they had arrested five operatives of JMB including its women front chief and wife of alleged key mastermind of the Burdwan blast Sajid under an intensified campaign against Islamists.
In another development, police in southeastern port city of Chittagong said they have arrested five suspected militants, one of them being a Pakistani.
“We will brief you later,” a senior police officer said.
Officials said NIA team handed over a list of 11 suspects of the Burdwan blast.
Bangladesh also gave NIA a list of 51 fugitives, 10 of them believed to be JMB activists, and others being members of Harkatul Jihad al Islami (HuJI) and criminals.
JMB and other Bangladesh-based militant groups like HuJI, which emerged between 2001 and 2005, seemed to have suffered a setback in view of years of massive anti-militant security clampdown but reports often suggest they were trying to regroup and work together.
JMB had announced its emergence staging the near simultaneous blasts in 62 out of 64 districts in Bangladesh in 2005 but only two persons were killed in the explosions as the outfit at that time preferred not to use powerful explosives in 500 improvised bombs it exploded at more than 300 spots.
In subsequent years, JMB, however, carried out a series of bomb attacks killing scores of people including two judges, prompting the launch of a massive anti-militant campaign.
Six JMB militants, including its chief Abdur Rahman and second-in-command Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai, were executed in 2007 after trial.