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Hasina to Hand over Saradha-Jamaat File to PM

Author: Arup Chanda
Publication: The New Indian Express
Date: September 25, 2014
URL: http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Hasina-to-Hand-over-Saradha-Jamaat-File-to-PM/2014/09/25/article2447711.ece

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will hand over a dossier to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York on Saturday with detailed information on how Saradha funds were channelised to Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh.

The two leaders are scheduled to meet after the UN meeting and discuss various issues, including the Teesta water pact and the land boundary agreement.

Sources said Hasina would also provide detailed information on certain politicians from West Bengal aiding the Jamaat in its anti-government agitation and harbouring extremist elements in the state who had crossed over after committing crimes in the neighbouring country.

The National Security Investigation (NSI), Dhaka’s prime intelligence agency, has compiled a file on how funds of the Saradha chit fund scam were funnelled to the country and invested in at least 10 hospitals and banks, which were linked to Islamic fundamentalist organisations.

Dhaka will also provide details of how the Jamaat had helped a particular political party in West Bengal during the 2011 state Assembly elections and also during the recent Lok Sabha polls.

She will also furnish documentary proof on Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Ahmed Hassan aka Imran’s links with frontal organisations of Jamaat, which is banned from functioning as a mainstream political party and contest elections in Bangladesh.

The Bangladeshi Government has already “blocked” Hassan’s visa to the country.  Bangladesh Minister of State for Home, Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told Express over telephone: “We are in touch with the Indian Government and passing on information as soon as we are getting them. We know about him and his activities.” sources said the NSI had collected pro-Jamaaat articles written by Hassan in a Bengali daily in Dhaka and his role in organising support for the fundamentalist organisation in West Bengal.

Dhaka has collected names of politicians in West Bengal who are linked to Jamaat, details of their meetings with the Jamat leaders and how extremist elements from Bangladesh are being provided shelter mainly in the districts of North and South 24 Parganas.

The Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh is very strong in Saatkhira district, which is just across the Ichhamati river dividing the two countries, and runs camps there to recruit youths who also infiltrate into India.

Several Awami League workers have been killed by the militants. The Bangladesh Government had busted some camps in an operation against the Jamaat and many of its activists were injured.

The NSI has also collected information on injured Jamaat activists, who were injured during counterinsurgency operations, were provided medical treatment in West Bengal and ambulances belonging to the Saradha Group being used for it. They were transported to private hospitals in the city and returned in the same way to the border to cross over to Saatkhira.

Abdul Barik Biswas, a gold smuggler, who is the brother of a TMC panchayat samity member, was nabbed by sleuths of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence with 44 kg of gold bars.

Biswas, who hails from Basirhat in North 24 Parganas, tried to fire on the sleuths with a 9mm pistol, but was overpowered. He is said to be one of the key pointsman liaisoning between Jamaat and some politicians in West Bengal.

He had helped channelise funds from Saradha Group to fundamentalist leaders in Bangladesh as he was an expert in trans-border trafficking, sources said.

Bangladeshi human rights activist Shahriar Kabir, who was in the city, told Express, “Several sleeper cells of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh are active in West Bengal. There are reports about Hassan’s connection with SIMI and Jamaat.

“But it seems the Trinamool Congress leaders are trying to protect him. My question is why? They should not allow West Bengal soil to be used against the Awami League Government.

“Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has flushed out Indian insurgents like the Ulfa from Bangladesh. If Bangladeshi terror outfits are getting support from Bengal, it is dangerous. If organisations like Jamaat are allowed to spread it will pose a threat to entire South Asia,” he said.

Sources in Dhaka said during the meeting with her Indian counterpart Hasina would suggest a joint machanism to fight against terrorism to Modi. The Bangladeshi Government wants frequent meetings and exchange of information between security and intelligence agencies of the two countries.
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