19 Burdwan blast case suspects plead guilty
Nineteen of 31 Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB) Bangladesh operatives accused in the 2014 Khagragarh blast case pleaded guilty before a city court on Wednesday.
Judge Siddhartha Kanjilal convicted them and decided to pronounce the quantum of punishment on August 30. The trial of the remaining 12 accused, including JMB leader Burhan Sheikh, will continue.
“On August 21, the previous date of hearing, the 19 accused had expressed their desire to plead guilty. The judge had said that even after their plea, their punishment will be pronounced after the completion of the trial. But when they pleaded guilty on Wednesday, the judge decided to pronounce their punishment on August 30,” a court officer said. Of the 19 who pleaded guilty, two are women.
The blast, which occurred in 2014 in a flat in Burdwan’s Khagragarh, had claimed two lives and blown the lid off the JMB module in Bengal. A cache of improvised explosive devices was seized from the flat, which turned out to be an explosives-manufacturing unit from where bombs were allegedly smuggled across the Bangladesh border. Bengal police probed the case initially. The National Investigation Agency took over the probe later.
Among those arrested were several JMB leaders, including Bangladeshis like Boma Mizan alias Kausar — the head of the JMB module in Bengal — Burhan Sheikh and Reza-ul Karim.
Earlier this week, Calcutta police had arrested Mohammad Ejaz, who was heading the JMB team in Bengal after the arrest of Kausar. Ejaz, who was hiding in Gaya, is a suspect in the Khagragarh case and a blast in Bodhgaya last year.