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Burdwan blast key accused held in Assam

Guwahati : Shahnur Alom, a Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) militant who is a key accused in the Oct 2 blast in West Bengal’s Burdwan district, has been arrested in Assam, police said here Saturday.

He was arrested by Assam Police’s Special Operation Unit from Nalbari district late Friday.

Alom, one of the main operatives of the JMB in Assam, had been absconding from his house in Barpeta district’s Chatla village since October this year.

The accidental blast took place at a house in Burdwan’s Khagragarh area, killing two JMB militants and injuring another.

Assam Director General of Police (DGP) Khagen Sarma said: “Alom was taking shelter in Meghalaya and areas along the India-Bangladesh border in Assam. But finally, he came to Nalbari with an intention to take shelter among his relatives.”

“Alom was a trained cadre of the JMB and he was involved directly with the Burdwan blast. We have records of him visiting Burdwan and meeting some of the top leaders. Alom is a good motivator and that is why his arrest was important to us,” he told the media.

“Assam Police had missed Alom closely several times during its operation,” Sarma said, adding that police were on the lookout for about five other top JMB cadres.

Last month, police arrested Alom’s wife Sujina Begum and their minor son from Guwahati.

The DGP also said the JMB has been eyeing Assam and West Bengal to spread its base after being banned in Bangladesh. While it has established its base in West Bengal to some extent, in Assam it has not been able to spread much.

“Some of the top leaders of the Jihadi group have come to Assam and married local girls and settled in West Bengal,” he said.

Besides, the police chief said the JMB has a presence in some lower and central Assam districts and in Barak Valley.

Sarma said Assam Police have kept certain areas under surveillance and are monitoring the activities of some youths for their alleged links with the Jihadi group.

“We have also received names of some women members of the group. There are about five women members of the JMB and they have taken part mainly in motivational training of the group,” he said.

Assam Police have termed the arrest of Alom as a big catch as they hope to get vital details about the Jihadi organisations operating in the state, including their cadre strength, financial transactions and other details.

The National Investigation Agency, which is probing the Burdwan case, had announced a bounty of Rs.5 lakh on Alom and raided his home at Chatala village at least three times.

Assam Police has so far arrested nine people for their alleged links with the JMB.


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