Burdwan blast case: NIA arrests 'jihadi motivator' and key conspirator Zia-ul-Haque

In a major breakthrough, The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday arrested Zia-ul-Haque, the key conspirator and a close associate of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) commander Sajid who is considered to be the mastermind of the Burdwan blast case in West Bengal.

Burdwan blast case: NIA arrests 'jihadi motivator' and key conspirator Zia-ul-Haque

Kolkata: In a major breakthrough, The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday arrested Zia-ul-Haque, the key conspirator and a close associate of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) commander Sajid who is considered to be the mastermind of the Burdwan blast case in West Bengal.

According to sources, Zia-ul-Haque has been arrested from Malda here.

A resident of Kaliachak in the district, Haque is said to be key 'jihadi motivator' who would motivate trainees in jihadi ideology, including those involved in the blast inside a house in Khagragarh in Burdwan district that killed two suspected JMB militants and injured another.

"Haque was a part of a jihadi training module where he was a key motivator and would motivate the trainees in jihadi ideology. He used to facilitate the training module by collecting jihadi videos related to the Gujarat riots, Assam riots, killing of Rohingiyas etc.," the National Investigation Agency said.

The NIA said the videos were also shown in madrassas, including the ones at Simulia and Mukhimnagar, where the accused involved in the Burdwan blast are believed to have been radicalised in jihadi ideology.

The agency claimed Haque was closely associated with top JMB commanders, including the absconding Sajid, who is said to be the "chief of the Burdwan module" and Sakib alias Suman.

"The NIA team also conducted a raid at his house in Malda and recovered a laptop. This laptop was reportedly handed over to Haque by Rizaul Karim after the Burdwan blast," the agency said.

Karim is one of the absconders involved in the blast. An NIA team had unearthed a huge cache of IEDs from Karim's house shortly after taking over the probe.

The NIA had yesterday detained a man in connection with this case and took him to Kolkata for questioning.

Sources in the NIA, probing the blast case, had said that the agency detained the person from near the Burdwan railway station.

Meanwhile, a joint team of the special operation unit of Assam Police and the CRPF has arrested Sujina Begum, wife of Shahnur Alom, one of the 12 suspects involved in the recent bomb blast at Burdwan.

Both Shahnur Alom and Sujina were on the wanted list of the NIA, which is probing the blast case.

The NIA recently released photographs of the 12 suspects and announced a cash award of Rs.5 lakh on Shahnur Alom.

"An operation was carried out based on specific information. We arrested Sujina from the Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) in Guwahati's Boragaon area Thursday night," said Guwahati Superintendent of Police (in-charge) Pranab Goswami.

The couple - Shahnur Alom and Sujina - residents of Chatala village in Barpeta district, were missing and on the run. 

An NIA team had already carried out search operations in the house of Alom, his brother Jakaria - who was arrested earlier by police - and some others in Chatala.

The team had also checked the bank accounts of the couple in various bank branches.

"We were looking for the couple after their links with the Burdwan blasts were established. It's a big catch for us as we would get vital information about Shahnur and the activities of the Islamist terror networks established by the duo and their accomplices in Assam," said another Assam Police official.

Earlier, NIA officials had collected the viscera samples of Shakil Ahmed and Swapan Mondal alias Sovan who died in the Khagragarh blast in Burdwan on October 2 from the morgue here.

Another team of the NIA had gone to the Mangalkote police station and talked to the officer-in-charge of the police station, Sanjay Kundu, to collect information.

Two persons were killed in the accidental blast in a house at Khagragarh in Burdwan district while hand grenades were being manufactured there, leading to the unearthing of an international terror link to it.

With Agency inputs