Jamaat man held in Assam, confirms plot to kill Hasina
Sahanur, arrested on Friday night, was one of the most wanted terrorists in the Burdwan blast case. Sources said the Bangladesh mujahideen planned to kill Hasina and stage a coup to set up a “Greater Islamic Bangladesh”. The National Investigation Agency, which is probing the Burdwan terror case, is likely to send a report to their Bangladeshi counterparts after which it will be decided if they need to visit Kolkata again to question Sahanur, head of the outfit in Assam.
NIA had announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh for information leading to Sahanur’s capture. The 31-year-old’s arrest is the biggest breakthrough since Bengal module chief Sajid was nabbed on November 8. Known as ‘daktar’ in the outfit and to intelligence agencies, Sahanur passed himself off as a dentist or a homoeopath by day and handled JMB’s finances and arms shipments by night, said security sources.
Assam DGP Khagen Sarma said Sahanur was not a combatant versed in use of firearms. “But he is more dangerous as he was involved in motivational training to recruit youths,” Sarma said. Sahanur has revealed that several JMB leaders from Bangladesh visited a madrassa in Larkuchi in Nalbari – just as they did in Simulia and Mukimnagar madrassas in Bengal – to build a wider base among Assamese-speaking Bangladeshi immigrants.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Sahanur and his wife Suzena went into hiding soon after the IED blast at Burdwan on October 2 that blew the lid off the JMB network in India. Suzena was arrested last month in Guwahati. “We missed Sahanur by a whisker several times. We kept tracking him but he was moving from place to place in Meghalaya, Assam and areas on the India-Bangladesh border. He, however, could not go to Bangladesh,” Sarma said.
While being produced in court on Saturday afternoon, Sahanur claimed he had surrendered and that his brother-in-law, Majibur, in whose house he was taking shelter, was in touch with police for this. The DGP, however, denied it. “I don’t consider it as surrender because we were on the lookout for him,” Sarma said. He has been sent to 14 days’ police custody.
According to NIA officers, Sahanur might be flown to Kolkata for interrogation. “Three key JMB operatives – Khaled, Hakim and Sajid – are in our custody and we want to interrogate Sahanur face-to-face with them. Khaled being the Myanmar pointsman and Sajid one of the main operatives in Bengal, there is a very strong possibility that they were interconnected and shared vital information,” an officer said.
Security agencies of both countries hope to get clues from Sahanur to track down JMB financiers. According to NIA officers, funds for JMB used to reach Assam via Myanmar and North-East through hawala channels. “After the money reached Sahanur, he used to send it to different places according to instructions,” an NIA officer said. Investigators had got some insight into JMB’s money trail after Suzena’s interrogation. “We are trying to find out if there was any direct funding by any person in Bengal or other parts of India. Sahanur can also tell us if money reached Bangladesh through him,” the officer added.