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Hizb suspect held in Malda

Malda, Oct. 14: An alleged Hizbul Mujahideen operative was arrested in a joint operation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the BSF and Malda police near the India-Bangladesh border at Baishnabnagar last night.

The law enforcers were attacked with firearms and bombs when they went to arrest Badal Shiekh, 40, from his home in Mohanpur village in Baishnabnagar at 9pm yesterday.

NIA sources said the central agency suspects Badal is an active member of the Hizbul Mujahideen and he and his four brothers were involved in smuggling in fake Indian notes from Bangladesh.

On Thursday night, the BSF apprehended Kausar Shiekh with fake currency notes with a face value of Rs 20 lakh from the border at Kaliachak.

The news of the haul prompted a four-member NIA team to reach here from Delhi on Friday evening. Sources said the NIA came to know about Badal from Kausar.

BSF Malda frontier commandant Madhukar said today that the NIA would seek the transit remand of Badal and take him to Delhi.

“The arrested person is being interrogated by the officers of the BSF and the NIA to find out the details of his operations and links with the Hizbul Mujahideen. When we conducted the joint operation last evening, our men were attacked with firearms, bombs and stones by Badal’s henchmen. Although no one was injured, two of our vehicles were damaged. We have filed a complaint with the Baishnabnagar police so that action can be taken against the attackers,” said Madhukar.

He added that Kaliachak and Baishnabnagar had become hubs of fake currency rackets and militant operations.

“Pakistan’s ISI is assisting them from Bangladesh. This is a matter of great concern for security forces.”

According to the NIA investigators, Badal had a number of relatives in Bangladesh and they, too, are involved in the fake note racket and the Hizbul Mujahideen.

The investigators claimed that a case had been registered against Badal and four others at the Janipur police station in Jammu on January 11, 2011. They were charged with “criminal conspiracy to circulate counterfeit Indian currency and to fund Hizbul Mujahideen operating in Jammu and Kashmir”.

According to sources in the district police, one of those named in the Janipur case, Mohammad Salim Shiekh, was arrested from Kaliachak on July 23 last year. He is in a Jammu jail.