Police have arrested a man claiming to possess a doctorate degree from Oxford University, running a madrasa in a char island on the Brahmaputra in Nalbari district in Assam. The person, who claimed his name to be Dr Rafiqul Islam alias Dr Riyazul Haque Choudhury, has been arrested under the Foreigners’ Act after he failed to produce any document pertaining to his citizenship and his doctorate degree from London. The police are also examining whether he has links with the Bangladesh-based jihadi group called JMB.
“We received certain inputs regarding his doubtful status and asked him to produce documents about his identity, citizenship as well as claim about having a PhD degree from Oxford. When he failed to produce any, we arrested him under the Foreigners’ Act and sent him to jail,” Bedanta Madhab Rajkhowa, SP of Nalbari district said over the telephone.
The SP said the person, during interrogation also claimed he belonged to Murshidabad in West Bengal and was running a madrasa in the Bhangonmari char (island) on the Brahmaputra under Mukalmua police station of Nalbari district for the past four years. During investigation the police also discovered that he had been earlier arrested by the Special Operations Unit (SOU) of the Assam Police under an arms-related case, and was currently out on bail.
Islam alias Choudhury came to notice after the Assam Police put a scanner on a number of madrasas especially in the lower Assam region in view of arrest of several persons associated with Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in the past few weeks. Sahanur Alom, a JMB activist close to the Burdwan group, on whom the NIA had put a reward of Rs 5 lakh, was arrested recently from Nalbari.
“While we gave him a week’s time to produce documents related to his identity ans citizenship, we gathered that he was preparing to escape and had even purchased a railway ticket for Kolkata. We are now examining whether he is a member of the Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh that was involved in the Burdwan blast,” Nalbari SP Rajkhowa said.
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