The National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing the Burdwan blast case has found that besides the Simulia and Lalgola madrasas used by the Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to train recruits in West Bengal, a third JMB recruitment and training base was on the verge of becoming operational in Murshidabad.
The NIA has also learned that JMB operatives had paid money to buy a plot of land to set up a madrasa for similar purposes in a village in Jharkhand’s Deoghar district in July this year.
“Interrogation of JMB accused has revealed that the Simulia madrasa in Burdwan was set up in 2008 and was meant exclusively for girls. This was followed by the Lalgola madrasa set up in Murshidabad in 2011. In addition to these two major JMB bases in West Bengal, the JMB was also in the process of setting up a third a base at the Ghoramara boys madrasa in Domkol, Murshidabad. It was about to become fully operational before the crackdown on JMB across states,” a source said.
JMB operatives had allegedly paid an advance to purchase a plot of land in Kenduwa village in Deoghar district of Jharkhand. “JMB wanted to acquire land in Jharkhand to set up similar madrasas this year. Plans had been finalised for buying 8 kathas (approximately 5760 sq ft) land in Kenduwa village and Rs 50,000 had been paid as advance during the month of Ramzan,” the source added.
NIA sources said that besides West Bengal, Assam, Bihar and Jharkhand, its probe into the JMB’s network had also led them to Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Hyderabad, where local networks of masons hailing from Malda and other districts of West Bengal were under the scanner.
“Some of the JMB cadres who fled from West Bengal and Assam took refuge in cities like Bangalore, Mysore, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad and Chennai. Many masons hailing from West Bengal are employed in in these cities. Absconding JMB operatives have been provided shelter by some of these masons, who aided them unwittingly or were sympathisers. Even local police agencies are keeping tabs on the antecedents of such masons in these cities,” said a source.