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Gaya blasts: The Bangladesh link and Darbhanga danger

By Vicky Nanjappa
July 10, 2013 13:03 IST
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The National Investigation Agency is seeking help from security agencies in Bangladesh for more clues on the Bodh Gaya serial blasts. 

NIA officials told that they have intimated both the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing to seek more information from Bangladesh regarding the operational capabilities of an outfit named Hizbut Tahrir, which since the past three years has been working closely with the Indian Mujahideen.

The story of the IM-HT nexus dates back to 2010 when the Darabanga and West Bengal modules of the Indian Mujahideen were being set up and getting ready for activation.

With the IM-Lashkar-e-Tayiba nexus splashed around all across the globe, the ISI forged a relationship with the HT and the outfit was directed to work with the IM in India.

For all practical purposes, this was a beneficial alliance for the IM since what this outfit relies on heavily is the infiltration as a result of which they get new recruits and foot soldiers.

The alliance with the HT saw a gradual change in the IM and it had become clear that the ISI was trying to link the home grown Indian outfit to foreign outfits.

A Delhi Police source who was part of the team, which cracked the Darbhanga module told that the setting up of this module was made easier thanks to the HT.

HT cadres had their men on the border who would send and receive operatives for the Indian Mujahideen as and when the same was required.

Post Bodh Gaya, the security agencies had said that this could well be a way of sending across a message to avenge the killing of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

An IB official says there has been credible information that the LeT has been training the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar to fight the radical Buddhists. However, this is a relatively new programme and they could have been in a hurry to prove a point and hence undertook the blasts at Bodh Gaya.

Bodh Gaya was a relatively easier target for the IM compared to Dharamshala where the security apparatus is much higher comparatively. In addition to this the presence of the Darbhanga module which is four hours away from the blast site only made the operation easier for them.

Speaking of the Hizbut Tahrir, the IB says that they have a good presence in Bihar. Many of their cadres slip in to Bihar and hold meetings with the IM. 

The Delhi Police officer goes on to add that there have been many instances when IM cadres have gone to Bangladesh and attended meetings there.

‘Further what we also found during our investigation is that the funding in future for IM related activities would not come in from Saudi Arabia as the noose over there has been tightened. The HT would use its resources in West Asia to raise funds and pass it on to the IM. This is an area which is under the grip of Bangladesh-based outfits,’ he said

Security agencies point out that the operatives come in and go out of Darbhanga with a lot of gusto. The IM is well aware of the appeasement politics that goes on.

Darbhanga was on the IB radar since a very long time, but no concrete action was ever taken to tackle the problem. This led the IM to create more safe hideouts at Madhubani, Purnia and Kishenganj.

When Kafeel Akhtar was arrested by the Bangalore police in connection with the Chinnaswamy Stadium blasts, there was major hue and cry about the manner in which he was arrested.

An officer in Bangalore says, ‘Sometimes we need wily tactics to pick up such men and it is not as though we have chased someone without any proof. Instead of lending a helping hand many times politicians demoralise us through such statements. At times, operations are undercover and informing other would only prove fatal. There is a proper court of law before which any accused would be produced and it is not as though we are following a dictatorial law.’

IB officials say that Darbhanga requires a serious look at least now. At least 14 Indian Mujahideen operatives have been arrested in the past three years of which 13 were from Darbhanga. This also includes Gulf-based operative, Fasih Mahmood.

The intention is not to defame any state, but the idea is to keep the nation secure, an officer said, adding, ‘Take for instance, the confession statement of Syed Maqbool, one of the accused in the Dilsukhnagar blasts. He says that after every attack, politicians will fight among themselves and in the bargain the issue will be forgotten.’

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Vicky Nanjappa