• Wednesday, Apr 08, 2020
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Burdwan blast case: Bangladeshi militant among 2 convicted of terror financing

  • Published at 08:38 pm February 27th, 2020
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The quantum of punishment will be decided in the next hearing on March 17

Two people, including a Bangladesh citizen, belonging to the banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), have been convicted by an Indian court in a terror financing case in connection with the 2014 Burdwan blast.

A Kolkata sessions court convicted the duo on Wednesday, reports ThePrint.

The convicts are -- Sheikh Rahamatulla, a Bangladesh national, and Mohammad Burhan Sheikh, an Indian.

They have been convicted under relevant sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act for money laundering from West Asian countries and financing a terror module run by the banned terror outfit operating out of Bangladesh, it reports.

"This is the first such case in the country in which persons accused of terror financing have been convicted," a top official of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said. 

The quantum of punishment will be decided in the next hearing on March 17.

The verdict has come over five years after a high intensity explosion in Burdwan's Khagragarh on October 2, 2014 left two dead and several injured.

The probe

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) led the probe into the blasts, busting a huge JMB terror network in the eastern parts of the country, which was also spreading to the southern parts.

Last year, 19 people were convicted in the case under sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the Explosive Substances Act.

Following the NIA probe, the Enforcement Directorate began its investigation into the money trail that took the agency to the hawala channels originating from West Asian countries via Bangladesh.

The directorate issued two provisional attachment orders last year for landed property in Burdwan's Simulia village and two bank accounts that used to receive money from foreign accounts in phases.

The two operatives also used to run a training centre at an unauthorized madrasa in Simulia village, a senior ED official said. 

Burdwan blast and its effects

The 2014 Burdwan blast rocked West Bengal as it raised questions on unabated infiltration from Bangladesh into the Indian territory through the state's bordering districts.

It exposed a JMB module operating in the region, recruiting young Muslim men, training and radicalizing them, said a senior NIA officer, who did not wish to be identified.

Following the case, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised its pitch against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's government and accused her of appeasing the Muslim community and working against national security for vote bank.

Home Minister Amit Shah routinely mentioned the case when he pitched for implementation of the controversial National Register of Citizens in the state last year.