Terror group hid in South India after Burdwan blast: NIA

New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency on Tuesday said a group of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terrorists had taken shelter at various hideouts in South India to further the activities of the terror group after the 2014 Burdwan blast.

The anti-terror agency said the disclosure came during questioning of JMB terrorist Jahidul Islam alias Kausar, who is in NIA custody since September 19.

Two people were killed on October 2, 2014 in the busy Khagragarh locality of West Bengal’s Burdwan district when an improvised explosive device that they were allegedly making went off.

A special NIA court last month convicted 19 people, including four Bangladeshi citizens, in the case and all the accused confessed to their crimes before the court.

“Jahidul Islam said after Burdhwan blast in 2014, he and his associates took shelter at various hideouts in South India to escape from the clutches of law and to further the activities of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in India,” said an NIA statement.

The terrorist pointed out various hideouts at Atibele, Kadugodi, K.R. Puram, Chikkbanavara and Shikaripalya, Electronic City in Bengaluru, said the agency.

At the instance of the JMB terrorist, the NIA claimed it has seized several incriminating articles from the electronic city that were meant to be used for preparing Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and grenades.

The seized IED materials include two cuboid-shaped batteries wrapped with plastic tape and electrical wire, one capacitor, three switches, one micro lithium cell, one plastic transparent box containing black colour chemical wrapped in a white paper, hand gloves, identity cards, rent agreement of one of the hideouts, said the NIA.

The NIA said it also seized some handwritten letters in Bengali language, one digital camera and silver articles looted during dacoities committed in Bengaluru in 2018.

Islam, the NIA said, also pointed out the places in Krishnagiri hill in Tamil Nadu’s Krishnagiri district (near Karnataka-Tamilnadu border) where he along with his JMB associates namely Habibur, Arif (Bangladesh), Fahim alias Fahad had test-fired three rocket shells prepared by them using a crude device during June-October 2017 and the place where they had concealed the remnants of the third test-fired rocket shell.

From this place, NIA said it seized remnants of explosive materials such as eight batteries of 1.5 volt each, a hollow cylindrical carton used for launching the rocket shell and pieces of electrical wire. A case was registered by Bengaluru Police on July 8 this year after it seized five improvised hand grenades, three fabricated grenades caps, three IED circuits, one timer device, two rocket bends, one jacket, one 9 mm pistol with live rounds, one air gun, suspected explosive powders and other incriminating materials from a house in Chikkabanavara village in Bengaluru rented by JMB members.

The NIA said that the recovery was made at the instance of Habibur Rahman, a JMB operative.

The agency took over this case on July 29 and re-registered a case under Unlaful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.