One among the twelve persons declared as “most wanted” by the NIA with the agency also announcing cash rewards for information leading to their arrest, is a self-styled dentist and popularly known as “doctor” in rural areas in Barpeta, a lower Assam district which has a sizeable Muslim population.
More importantly, this man – Sahanur Alom – has been trying to propagate Salafi sect of Islam, for which he had only recently invited the wrath of fellow villagers after he had organized an Eid namaz on the day a sizeable population do in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait and some other countries, which is one day ahead of Eid prayers in India.
Alom had brought a group of some 70 strangers to the village and organized an Eid prayer on July 28, one day ahead of Eid prayers in India. Local Muslims opposed to Eid prayers one day before the actual date, also beat up Sahanur and several other persons who had come to the village that day. A burqa-clad woman who had come with the group in a “big” car also shot visuals of the special namaz, local reports said.
Thirty-three year old Alom alias “doctor”, who hails from village Chatala under Sarthebari police station in Barpeta, has disappeared about a week after the October 2 blast in Khagragarh in Burdwan (West Bengal). His parents said Alom had left for his in-laws village along with his wife and two children, but the police have not found him there. NIA had yesterday announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh to anybody who can provide information leading to his arrest.
The Assam Police meanwhile have arrested his brother Zakaria on charges of having links with Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). Earlier, the Assam Police had arrested six others – Shaikhul Islam @ Abdullah (20), Rafikul Islam (39), Md. Shiraj Ali Khan (53), Jahuruddin (60), Golam Usmani (23) and Sarbesh Ali (35) – all from different villages in Barpeta district.
While local police suspect Alom has been associated with JMB for about three years or so, NIA has found evidence of his frequent trips to Burdwan and other places in West Bengal. Third son of Majibar Rahman, a primary school teacher who commands considerable respect in the village, Alom however was popular as a “doctor” who would treat villagers of dental problems and even extract teeth with some medical equipments that he carried with him.
The Assam Police meanwhile is on the look-out for Alom’s wife Sajina, who hails from Chenimari Borpitha village in the same district, for her alleged links with JMB. Sajina, police said, had attended a madrasa in Burdwan district, before she got married to Alom. The two have two children. Assam Police DG Khagen Sarma said the police are on the look-out for five more persons having links with seven others already arrested so far.
Police said while he passed Class XII in Arts from Peradhora HS School in Barpeta, Alom went off to Goalpara where he reportedly worked in a dentist’s chamber during which he apparently learnt a few things that later helped him prescribe primary medicine for dental pain and other ailments to local villagers. While his eldest brother Nazir Hussain is a qualified ayurvedic doctor, the next brother Zakaria earned his living by selling spectacles and goggles in local bazaars. Azizur, the younger to Sahanur runs an electronics shop in the village.