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Indian special forces, intelligence agents to interrogate Hatkata Mahfuz

  • Published at 09:13 pm July 14th, 2017
Indian special forces, intelligence agents to interrogate Hatkata Mahfuz
India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Special Task Force of Kolkata Police (STF) will soon arrive in Dhaka to interrogate militant Hatkata Mahfuz, who is wanted in India for the 2014 Burdwan blast case. There is a bounty of Rs10 lakhs on his head in the country. Law enforcement officials on Friday said the STF might be arriving on Saturday, while NIA is yet to say when they might come to Dhaka to speak to Hatkata Mahfuz. On October 2, 2014, an accidental explosion in a house in Khagragarh area of Burdwan, West Bengal killed two people and critically injured another. The two dead were identified as Shovan Mandal and Shakil Ahmed, also known as Ghazi. The injured man was identified as Abdul Halim, also known as a Hasan Saheb. Two women were also found in the house and later arrested. They are Ahmed's wife Rumi Bibi and Halim's wife Amina Bibi. More than 50 improvised explosive devices were recovered from the house. The Indian police also seized a large number watch dials, SIM cards and tools used to make explosive devices. Micro SD cards containing propaganda material, Taliban training videos, and fake official Indian documents such as voter ID cards and passports were recovered from the house. Maps and half burnt books in Arabic were also found.
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Mahfuz, known as Nasirullah alias Sahadat Sheikh alias Sohail in India, was involved in the accidental explosion and, since his arrest on July 8, the Indian law enforcement agencies were expected to request an interrogation with him. Assistant Inspector General of Police (confidential) Md Moniruzzaman told the Dhaka Tribune that NIA and the Special Task Force of Kolkata Police have now expressed their desire to speak to the arrested militant, regarding their investigation of the 2014 blast case. The house where the explosion took place is owned by leader of the Trinamool Congress Nurul Hasan Chowdhury, who rented the first floor to the deceased Shakil Ahmed for Rs4,700 a month. The Indian police soon discovered Hatkata Mahfuz’s connection to Shakil and the blast, but he had already gone underground by then. The militant known as Abdus Sabur alias Sohel Mahfuz alias Hatkata Mahfuz alias Nasullah is also accused of playing an important role in smuggling bomb-making material and arms used in Dhaka's Holey Artisan attack. He was arrested on July 8 from Chapainawabganj, during a joint drive by CTTC, Police Headquarters LIC, Bogra and Chapainawabganj police. On July 1, 2016, Bangladesh witnessed the deadliest terror attack in its history: armed militants entered an upscale eatery in Dhaka’s diplomatic zone and killed 22 people, including 17 foreigners and two policemen. Investigators say Hatkata Mahfuz is one of the planners and had supplied the explosives used in the Gulshan terror attack.