One more suspected member of terror outfit held in Assam


A man has been arrested from Assams Bongaigaon district for his alleged links with the Al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent, police said on Friday. The accused is among three persons who have been apprehended by the state police this week for “having links with the terror outfit”, a senior officer said. The third arrested person, who hails from Goalpara, was held on Thursday and brought here, the officer said, adding that the accused has been sent to police custody for five days. Two Islamic clerics, also suspected to be members of the terror outfit, were arrested on August 21 from Goalpara for allegedly radicalising Muslim youths and being involved in “jihadi activities in the last three-four years”, police said.

Following the third arrest, Director General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta held a meeting with IGP (Western Range) Dilip Kumar De and superintendents of police of Goalpara, Barpeta and Bongaigaon districts here on Thursday.

The DGP later told reporters that the three arrested men from the district were “found to have connections with several persons, who were involved in jihadi activities and apprehended in the state earlier, along with one held in West Bengal”.

We are also investigating whether they have links with those arrested in Madhya Pradesh. It has been established that there are sleeper cells in the districts where training is imparted to youths to radicalise them and several jihadi literature and posters have been recovered, Mahanta said.

During the investigation, it has also been found that a few Imams came from outside the state and set up a Madrasa in a minority-dominated area, the police officer said, adding that the district authorities have been directed to keep a strict vigil on such activities. “A Madrasa cannot just come up in an area without the permission of the authorities concerned. Necessary rules and regulations have to be followed,” he said.

The DGP further said that people belonging to the Muslim community are cooperating with the district administrations to arrest persons who are allegedly involved in the jihadi activities. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had recently said that Assam has become a hotbed of “jihadi activities” with five modules having links with Bangladesh-based terror outfit Ansarul Islam busted in five months.

The police arrested around 40 people since March this year, and a strict vigil is being maintained, particularly in the minority-dominated areas of lower and central Assam, the officer added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)