THE Pune unit of the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Thursday claimed it has seized documents that revealed some Bangladeshi nationals, arrested earlier by the unit, had helped members of the banned Bangladeshi outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), considered a ‘front organisation’ of Al Qaeda.
On March 17, the ATS had arrested three Bangladeshis, who were allegedly living in Pune illegally and were suspected to have provided logistical and financial assistance to members of the ABT. They were identified as Mohammed Habibur Rehma Habib alias Raj Jesub Mandal (31), Mohammed Ripen Hussain alias Rubel (25) and Hannan Anwar Hussain Khan alias Hannan Baburli Gazi (25).
The arrests were the result of a joint operation by central intelligence agencies, Military Intelligence and the ATS.
Later, two more Bangladeshi nationals — Mohammad Aahat Ali and Mohammad Hassan Ali — were arrested from
Raigad and Mumbai, on charges of helping others procure identity proofs such as Aadhaar cards, with the help of
The five arrested suspects were produced in court on Thursday and their police custody was extended till April 5. The investigating officer, ACP Sunil Darekar, told the court the ATS has recovered debit cards from the suspects. The cards were in the name of ‘Sopan Biswas and Tushar Biswas’, suspected operatives of the ABT, said police. Police said they have also recovered a diary which has records of the money given to ABT operatives.
From Aahat Ali and Hassan Ali, the two Bangladeshi nationals arrested later, police have recovered four Aadhaar cards, three PAN cards, 34 empty casings of SIM cards, several money transfer receipts, six cell phones and memory cards.
Intelligence agencies, including Military Intelligence and the ATS, have been verifying details of several individuals after receiving specific inputs from West Bengal Police about some illegal Bangladeshi immigrants who were living in Pune.
Investigators said they were zeroing in on a “systematic network” that brought Bangladeshis to India illegally, helped them procure Indian identity documents, and find jobs. The illegal migrants are then “used” to provide shelter to terror operatives, they said.
Meanwhile, a wider probe is being conducted jointly by different agencies to nab ABT members in India.