An armed Bangladeshi picked up by the city police late on Saturday is, in fact, a Pakistani national. And he’s the nephew of a serving officer in the Pakistan army, to boot.
This dramatic disclosure was made by detectives interrogating the two “underworld dons from Bangladesh and ISI suspects” — Arman and Liaquat Hussain Liaquat — arrested from the New Market area on Saturday night. Arman and Liaquat have been booked under the Arms Act and remanded in police custody till November 21.
Sleuths claimed to have gathered enough information to label Arman a Pakistani national who had shifted to Dhaka seven years ago. He is also believed to be the nephew of a senior officer in the Pakistani army. “We have information that Arman was born and brought up in Pakistan and his uncle is in the army. We have passed on the information to the Union home ministry and the Central Bureau of Investigation’s Interpol wing for verification,’’ said a senior detective investigating the case.
Amidst speculation, deputy commissioner of police, detective department, Soumen Mitra, on Wednesday stated that neither Arman nor Liaquat was connected with any political party in Bangladesh.
“They were arrested on specific charges and will be tried in a city court,’’ he said, when asked whether the duo would be pushed back across the border or handed over to the Bangladeshi authorities. “We are now concentrating on gathering information on the dons’ local contacts,’’ Mitra said, adding that the police will take action against them “at the appropriate time”.
Sleuths admitted that the director-general of defence field intelligence in Bangladesh had sent a transcript of an interrogation report of an ISI suspect, Badruddin Naseem, arrested in Dhaka recently. Naseem had claimed that Liaquat and Arman were on the ISI’s payroll. New Market police sources said Liaquat’s rival in the Dhaka underworld, Sayyed Hussein, arrested from Chowringhee on Tuesday, had been hiding here for the past 10 years and had rented a flat on Ripon Street. Quoting from preliminary investigation, police said Hussein also had ISI links.
The crackdown on members of the Bangladeshi underworld hiding in the city and its suburbs continued on Wednesday, with Javed Khan and Raufat Khan being arrested from Gandhi Smarak, in Rishra. Hooghly superintendent of police Ajay Kumar said Javed and Raufat had arrived in Rishra in the first week of November and had rented a house in the area.
Acting on a tip-off, Serampore police surrounded the house on Wednesday morning and trapped the duo. Sub-divisional police officer S.S. Chakraborty said “several incriminating documents” were seized from the hideout. He added that the papers recovered indicated that Javed had been to Dubai in January.
“We have confiscated a notebook that has the names and telephone numbers of several senior officers of the Bangladeshi army. Two city contacts, Sheikh Asgar Ali and Mohammed Syed Ali, have also been mentioned,” said officer-in-charge of Serampore police station Bijoy Halder.
Javed and Raufat told the police that they hailed from Khulna, in Bangladesh. Javed claimed to be Raufat’s uncle and said they were both residents of Sahapur village, under Dumuria police station, in Khulna. They claimed that a conduit in Khulna, Abdul Gazi, had helped them cross the border. “Gazi had promised to help us set up a garments business here,’’ Javed claimed.
“They don’t have passports or visas and we are not even sure whether Javed and Raufat are their real names,” said S.S. Chakraborty.