Bangladesh police arrest Bengal woman for recruiting cadres for terror outfit  

Twenty-five year-old woman who was born a Hindu, had converted to Islam and fled home after coming in contact with Jihadi elements on social media; she was made acting chief of the female wing of neo Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh

Police zeroed in on Abdul Yusuf Khan after receiving a tip-off about his movement in the ridge area between Dhaula Kuan and Karol Bagh. Representational image: iStock

A top terrorist arrested by Bangladesh police from Dhaka on Thursday (July 16) evening turned out to be a Hindu girl from West Bengal who converted to Islam to join an ISIS-backed militant organisation.

As per the information that West Bengal police gathered from Bangladesh, the woman was identified as Progga Debnath from the state’s Hooghly district. She had converted to Islam and changed her name to Ayesha Jannat Mohona alias Jannatun Tasnim, police sources here said.

Progga alias Ayesha (25) was arrested by the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Bangladesh police from Dhaka’s crowded Sadarghat area for her alleged link to neo Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

Ayesha was reportedly functioning as an acting chief of the female wing of the outfit since the arrest of its head Asmani Khatun alias Asma in February this year. She was also responsible for recruitment of cadres and generating funds for the neo-JMB.


West Bengal police are trying to ascertain how she got into touch with the terror outfit. Prima facie it appeared that she came into contact with one Amir Hossain Saddam, a Bangladeshi expatriate in Oman, via the internet and later married him.

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Bangladesh police after interrogating her got to know that Ayesha was converted to Islam in 2009 while studying in Class IX.  Jihadi elements through internet reportedly influenced her decision.

From her parents in Hoogly’s Keshabpur village, police came to know that she had left home on September 24, 2016 on the pretext of going to Kolkata. A few days later, she called up to inform her mother Gita Debnath that she had converted to Islam and married a boy from the same religion. Since then she had not been in touch with her parents.

Ayesha used to communicate online with the women’s wing of Neo-JMB and maintained close ties with Asmani Khatun. She had moved to Bangladesh last October and continued to work closely with Asmani.

She had entered Bangladesh on an Indian passport. She also managed to acquire a national identity card of Bangladesh using a fake birth certificate. Using that ID, she got jobs at various madrasas in Dhaka’s Keraniganj and Narayanganj’s Fatullah.

Her arrest once again revealed the penetration of recruiting agents of Islamic terror outfits among the youth of the state.

In March this year, West Bengal police’s Special Task Force arrested a 21-year-old student Tania Parvin for her alleged links with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

Parvin, who hails from Baduria in North 24 Parganas, too was lured to join the outfit through social networking sites.

Parvin believed to have influenced several young girls in Bengal with the ideology of the Lashkar.