Wednesday March 21, 2018 11:36 AM

NIA arrives in Dhaka to gather information on Hatkata Mahfuz

NIA arrives in Dhaka to gather information on Hatkata Mahfuz
Members of law enforcement agencies escort Sohel alias Hatkata Mahfuz into custodyMehedi Hasan/ Dhaka Tribune

‘We have told them that some places in India are vulnerable and need increased surveillance’

India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrived in Dhaka on Monday, to speak to Sohel Mahfuz alias Hatkata Mahfuz, who is currently wanted in the country for the 2014 Burdwan blast case.

The three-member team reached Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Monday morning. They met with  Bangladesh police officials and exchanged information about the militancy issue that affects both the countries.

Meanwhile, a team of the Special Task Force of Kolkata police (STF) has already arrived in Dhaka on Saturday for the same reasons.

Assistant Inspector General (AIG) (Intelligence and Special Affairs) Md Moniruzzaman confirmed their arrival and told the Dhaka Tribune that a meeting was held with the NIA at the police headquarters regarding the militancy issue and Hatkata Mahfuz.

“We discussed common militant operators who are in India. We are sharing information about the arrested militants of both country.

“We wanted to know about the militants who went to India, the source of arms or explosives and involvement in smuggling, their custodian and asylum assistants, who they have been interacting with, so on and so forth.

“We have told them that some places in India are vulnerable and need increased surveillance. From the information we received, we have discovered that some of our wanted militants have already been arrested by the Indian police and we have been invited to go and interrogate them,” said AIG Moniruzzaman.

When asked about the NIA’s interest in Hatkata Mahfuz, Moniruzzaman said: “Hatkata Mahfuz was in India for a long time. He is a militant involved in the Burdwan blast case. NIA shared the information they had on him and vise versa.”

According to the sources, the Special Task Force (STF) members want to know about how the JMB and New JMB were organized in different provinces of India including the West Bengal.

Top militants Hatkata Mahfuz has been involved with militant activities in the Murshidabad area of West Bengal from 2009 to 2014, almost five years.

During his interrogation, Hatkata Mahfuz said he had a training camp at Shimulia Madrasa in Murshidabad. In the madrasa, he trained more than a hundred members of the JMB. Indian police officials are eager to know more about these people.

A list of militants has been exchanged with India’s Special Task Force. They are particularly interested in the militants who have travelled to India from Bangladesh. They have also inquired if the New JMB had built a militant den in India.

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