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Assam: Police arrest six persons for ‘terror outfit links’

The accused have been identified as Mufti Suleman Ali, Jahidul Islam, Saddam Hussain, Rashidul Islam, Musharaf Hussain and Moqibul Hussain
Representational image.
Representational image.

Umanand Jaiswal   |   Guwahati   |   Published 17.04.22, 01:08 AM

Assam police have arrested six persons from Barpeta district for their alleged link with the Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), a banned terror outfit based out of neighbouring Bangladesh with “affiliation” to the al Qaida in Indian sub-continent (AQIS).

This is the second major arrest by Barpeta district police in their ongoing crackdown against extremist forces allegedly trying to operate in Assam, which shares a 262km border with Bangladesh.

Bangladesh had banned the ABT in 2015 and its offshoot Ansar al-Islam in 2017.

Barpeta SP Amitava Sinha said the six were arrested from various places in the district for allegedly trying to radicalise youth of the district on behalf of the ABT.

They were produced before the court of the chief judicial magistrate, which had remanded them in 10 days’ police custody, he said, one of the arrested is also a member of the Popular Front of India, a Muslim organisation, which is likely to be banned by the Centre.

The six arrested have been identified as Mufti Suleman Ali, 33, from a village under Sarthebari police station, Jahidul Islam, 39, and Saddam Hussain, 25, from Howly, Rashidul Islam, 28, from Barpeta, Musharaf Hussain, 27, and Moqibul Hussain, 24, from Barpeta Road. Around 15 mobile phones and 20 SIM cards have been recovered from them.

They have been arrested under stringent IPC sections 120(b) (criminal conspiracy) /121 (waging war against India)/121A (conspiring to commit certain offences against the State) along with sections 17/18 /18B (raising funds for terrorist act, conspiracy and recruiting for terrorist act) /19/20 (whoever knowingly holds any property derived or obtained from commissioning terrorist act) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

On March 4, Barpeta police had arrested five persons, including a Bangladeshi national, from three different police stations under lower Assam’s Barpeta district for their alleged nexus with the ABT. 

The NIA is probing the activities of the ABT module in the March arrest case. All the five are currently launched in Guwahati Central Jail.

A statement by Barpeta police after the March arrest had said Saiful Islam alias Harun Rashid, hailing from Bangladesh’s Narayanganj district, had “illegally” entered India and was working as a teacher of Dhakaliapara Masjid.

He had “successfully indoctrinated and motivated” four others to join the module of ABT to “develop Barpeta district as a base for Jehadi work and unlawful activities of al-Qaeda and its related organisation”.

The four others arrested along with Islam were Khairul Islam, 27, Badshah Suleiman Khan, 28, Noushad Ali, 40, all hailing from Kalgachia, and Taimur Rahman Khan, 54, from Howly. They have been booked under various sections of the IPC, UAPA , Passport Act and Foreigners Act.

Barpeta is a Muslim-majority district in lower Assam. It does not share border with Bangladesh. The Assam districts sharing border with Bangladesh are Karimganj and Cachar in Barak Valley and Dhubri and South Salmara-Mankachar in lower Assam.

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