Jalpaiguri, Sept. 14: Mekhliganj police have arrested four persons from Changrabandha last night for possible links with the Inter Services Intelligence.
“After a tip-off from the Central intelligence, we arrested four persons for having links with an ISI agent named Najrul, who was arrested from Jaisalmer last Sunday,” Cooch Behar superintendent of police Praveen Kumar said.
Those arrested include three brothers — Subhas Karmakar alias Babua, Dipak Karmakar alias Habu and Shibu Karmakar. One Amarjit Roy has also been held in connection with the case.
Police said the Karmakar brothers are residents of Changrabandha while Amarjit is a resident of Kharagpur, living in Changrabandha for the past three years. Amarjit’s father, Ajit Singha Roy, is a railway employee at Kharagpur. All of them resided at the Railway Station area in Changrabandha.
Changrabandha being an international check-post on the India-Bangladesh border, Subhas and Dipak were licensed moneychangers having a counter near the border. Shibu and Amar were partners of the Star Exporting Company, exporting items like tobacco, jute and coal to Bangladesh.
According to police, Najrul had crossed over the border illegally numerous times aided by these four. The group used a motorcycle bearing a registration number of Assam to help Najrul cross over. The motorcycle has been seized.
Neighbours reported that whenever vigil near the border would increase, Najrul would stay at home to avoid arrest.
After raids at the houses of the four accomplices of Najrul, police have recovered a number of Bangladeshi passports. About 36 rubber stamps of the Immigration Check Post and the Customs Check Post have also been recovered. Incriminating documents, including blank letterheads of the district magistrate of Lalmonir Hat in Bangladesh, have been recovered.
Prepaid cash cards of Singapore Telephones and several telephone numbers in Lahore, New York, Bangladesh and other places have been seized. Police said the group used to operate with two phone connections.
A senior district intelligence official said: “It is interesting that they used to pay Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 as phone bills for each phone bi-monthly. They made lots of ISD calls to Bangladesh, Pakistan, New York and to some more places.”
Investigations have revealed that ever since Najrul started using this route to go to Bangladesh, the capital involved in the group’s business increased. For the past three years, the businesses of Subhas, Amarjit, Shibu and Dipak had peaked, police said.
Cooch Behar police are also probing whether the four arrested had made the calls or was it Najrul who paid them off. “It is pretty clear that they received money from him as far as their increase in capital is concerned,” the official added.
After Najrul’s arrest, Jalpaiguri police have arrested one rickshawpuller named Sattar Ali from Binnaguri of Jalpaiguri for working as an informer of Najrul. “We will find out whether these persons knew Sattar or not,” Jalpaiguri superintendent of police Siddh Nath Gupta said.
Police sources added that a police team from Jalpaiguri is likely to visit Cooch Behar to interrogate these four. "We are checking out every input we got from this four. As far as their involvement with the ISI is concerned, we are determining the facts involved in the case,” Kumar said.