Burdwan blast: Another Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen member Amjad Sheikh held

In yet another breakthrough, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday arrested one more Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen member Amjad Sheikh wanted in the Burdwan blast case.

Updated: Nov 11, 2014, 00:16 AM IST
Burdwan blast: Another Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen member Amjad Sheikh held

Kolkata: In yet another breakthrough, the National Investigation Agency (NIA)on Monday arrested one more Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) member Amjad Sheikh wanted in the Burdwan blast case.

Sheikh, alias Kajal, a resident of Birbhum district of West Bengal, is alleged to be the main person who used to procure material, meant for making improvised explosive devices, from open market.

NIA said 30-year-old Sheikh was instrumental in procuring chemicals and providing these to other co-conspirators for making Improvised Explosive Devices.

According to official sources, Sheikh was working with a Kolkata-based medical firm which deals with manufacturing of various sterilisation products. He used his employment with the firm for procuring many restricted acids including 'Picric acid' used for triggering an explosive device.

NIA had announced a cash reward of Rs five lakh on information leading to Sheikh's arrest but later enhanced it to Rs 10 lakh.

Soon after the blasts, NIA had raided his Kolkata house and recovered receipts and vouchers related to purchase of chemicals which were used in making the IEDs.

Investigation found that Sheikh was part of the top brass of JMB in India and after October two blast, he took shelter in New Delhi on October 8 and from there moved to Basti in Uttar Pradesh where he was provided shelter for a few days by a policeman.

Ultimately, he went back to West Bengal from where he was arrested today, NIA said.

Sheikh, who is the sixth person arrested in the case, is alleged to be closely associated with top JMB commanders who were running jihadi training modules in two madrasas of West Bengal.

Meanwhile, shortly after the arrest, a minor explosion was heard near an office of the NIA here, police officials said.

An officer at the police control room in the city said the cause of the blast at the counter-terrorism agency office had not yet been established.

West Bengal police and NIA have achieved two major breakthroughs in the past three days by arresting top commanders of JMB including Sajid and Amjad Sheikh.

Todays arrest comes a day after a Kolkata court gave the NIA custody of JMB commander Sajid till November 20, a Bangaldeshi national who the West Bengal police had arrested on Saturday in connection with the blast case. Sajid's arrest followed the detention of two other suspects.

Sajid, the JMB commander was arrested in a joint operation by the ATS and the West Bengal police from near Kolkata airport and was subsequently handed over to the NIA.

He was nabbed a day after his close associate and key 'jihadi motivator' Zia-ul-Haque was arrested by the NIA from Malda district in connection with the blast.

The accidental bomb explosion in a house in Khagragarh had left two suspected JMB militants dead and another injured and broke the lead on the most sensational jihadi terrorist conspiracy in the state in recent times. 

Shakil Ahmed died on the spot and another person Sovan Mandal died in hospital. Both were suspected to have links with JMB. Another person - Hasan Saheb, who was also injured in the blast, gave some information which led to the arrest of six people in Assam. However, only two women including the wife of one of the dead man, was useful in giving some sketchy information about the blast conspiracy.

Several people, including two women, are behind bars in connection with the explosion.

(With Agency inputs)