Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Friday (October 18) some terrorist sleeper cells were active in Bengaluru and Mysuru and their activities have intensified in coastal Karnataka as well as the Bay of Bengal.
Speaking to reporters at Mysuru, Bommai said the National Investigation Agency suspects movement of terrorists belonging to the Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in coastal Karnataka and a few interior parts of Karnataka.
“There is a possibility of sleeper cells in Bengaluru and Mysuru and hence, the NIA wants us to take extra care,” Bommai said.
He cautioned that the JMB has expanded its activities not only in coastal and interior Karnataka but all along the coastal regions of the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. Referring to revelations made by the NIA recently in New Delhi, Bommai said the agency laid emphasis on Kashmir and the movement of Bangladeshi ultras.
The minister also said movement of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants has intensified in the State. “Against the background, our police are on alert especially in Bengaluru and Mysuru. We are frisking people at public places, gathering information about the suspicious persons and analysing it,” Bommai said.
Earlier this week, the minister announced the formation of Bengaluru-specific Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), which will work in tandem with the NIA officials. The Bengaluru-specific ATS will become functional from November 1, he said.
Karnataka already has an ATS. The decision to set up the ATS was made following the arrest of a number of JMB cadres in and around Bengaluru, from whom explosive devices and many other materials were seized in the last one year.
According to the NIA, these terrorists, involved in the October 2, 2014 bombblasts at Burdwan in West Bengal, in which two persons werekilled, had holed up in and around Bengaluru.
They had carried out training programmes in Krishnagirihills in neighbouring Tamil Nadu and wanted to set up base here to carry out their jihadi activities across the country, an NIA probe, which busted the gang, revealed.
Addressing a meeting of chiefs of the Anti Terrorism Squads (ATS) recently at New Delhi, NIA chief Y C Modi had said the JMB has spread its activities in states like Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala in the guise of Bangladeshi immigrants.
The JMB was trying to spread its tentacles across India and a list of 125 suspects have been shared with different states, he said. According to him, from 2014 to 2018, the JMB set up 20-22 hideouts in Bengaluru and tried to spread its bases in South India.