2004 Burdwan blast: Kolkata police visit Bangladesh to get information on arrested militant Sohel Mahfuz

Dhaka: A Special Task Force of the Kolkata Police has held a meeting with Bangladeshi security officials in Dhaka for information on arrested Jama'atul Mujahideen militant Sohel Mahfuz, wanted in India in the 2014 Burdwan blast case.

The three-member team reached the capital city on Saturday and met Bangladeshi security officials at the police headquarters, Assistant Inspector General Md Moniruzzaman said.

In the meeting, they discussed information received so far during the interrogation of Neo-JMB militant Mahfuz, who was arrested along with three other militants by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit from Chapainawabganj district in northern Bangladesh on 7 July.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The officials from both countries also shared their experiences dealing with militant incidents in addition to information on Mahfuz, Moniruzzaman said was quoted as saying by The Daily Star. Mahfuz, a top explosives specialist of neo-JMB, is on a seven-day remand in the Dhaka cafe attack case. He allegedly supplied firearms and explosives for the cafe attack in which 22 people, including 17 foreigners, were killed.

Mahfuz who lost a hand while making bombs, thereby earning him his title 'Hatkata', was wanted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in India for the blast at Khagragarh in Burdwan district of West Bengal on 2 October, 2014.

"Mahfuz, who had worked for about five years from 2009 to set up an extremist network in India's West Bengal, was planning to expand the activities of IS-inspired militant group Neo JMB to India," The Daily Star reported. He wanted to visit India by this year and open a wing of "Neo JMB", counterterrorism officials were quoted as saying by the daily.

Sohel told the interrogators that he left India months after the JMB leadership removed him from the post of West Bengal JMB ameer and replaced him with Sajid, another Bangladesh-born militant, in 2014, the report said. After his return to Bangladesh in December 2014, he got involved with pro-IS militants and played an important role in recruiting youths to the new brand of terror group, “Neo JMB” as police call it.

In the meeting, the Bangladeshi and Indian police officials discussed how the top militant spread a militant network in both countries and carried out his activities in West Bengal and Assam during his stay in India, the daily said. The Kolkata police team would stay in Bangladesh for the next couple of days.

Besides, a team of National Investigation Agency is supposed to arrive in Dhaka tomorrow to learn about Sohel's arrest, Moniruzzaman added.

Updated Date: Jul 16, 2017 13:41 PM

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