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Has terror finally made its landfall in Bengal?

December 27, 2013 13:00 IST

Security agencies are apprehensive that the Jalpaiguri blast is merely an indicator of the unrest triggered by fundamentalist outfit Jamaat-e-Islami along the India-Bangladesh border, says Vicky Nanjappa

The forthcoming months will not be peaceful ones for West Bengal, warn intelligence agencies, in the wake of the blast at Jalpaiguri on Thursday night.

Five persons were killed and nine injured when explosives kept on a cycle went off at Bajrapara near Jalpaiguri town.

Kamtapur Liberation Organisation, a militant group based in Assam, is suspected of being behind the blast.

But security agencies are apprehensive that the blast is merely an indicator of the unrest triggered by fundamentalist outfit Jamaat-e-Islami along the India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal.

After a crackdown by the authorities in Bangladesh, scores of Jamaat operatives have crossed over through the porous border in Bengal and Assam, fear security agencies.

Though some such operatives have already been arrested, most of them are believed to be heading to Kolkata and parts of Assam, said an official working with the Intelligence Bureau.

The Jammat has been wreaking havoc in Bangladesh for months. They have bombed sites populated by civilians, targeted government establishments and attacked temples.

The outfit has always believed that India has helped Bangladesh in its crackdown on Jamaat activists.

The Inter Services Intelligence has been monitoring these developments and the spy agency has asked Jamaat militants to stay put in Kolkata for now, said the IB official.

The ISI has been trying to unite as many as 42 splinter militant groups, including Jamaat, which have been working against the government in Dhaka.

Most Bangladesh-based militant groups share friendly ties with the United Liberation Front of Asom and the KLO. Bangladeshi militants supply arms and funds to Indian insurgent groups while they, in turn, provide shelter to militants who sneak in from across the border.

The Indian Mujahideen, the biggest terror outfit in India today, has a marginal presence in West Bengal.

But authorities should be more worried about the alliance between Bangladesh-based militants and Indian terror outfits, warns the IB official, adding that such an unholy nexus may make the forthcoming months troubled ones for West Bengal.

Image: Border Security Force soldiers patrol on a boat in the waters of river Brahmaputra near the border with Bangladesh ' Photograph: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

Vicky Nanjappa