GUWAHATI, February 20: Fundamentalist terrorist outfits in Bangladesh may pose a security threat to the North East region and West Bengal because of the porous nature of the international border and all the security agencies need to be on high alert to prevent such elements from trying to sneak into India to create problems.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that because of lack of adequate security and administrative presence in certain parts of Assam, particularly in the areas bordering Bangladesh, it is difficult to track the activities of such groups till they indulge in any unlawful activity and several times in the past, the presence of such outfits came to light only accidentally.
Sources revealed that apart from the Jamaat ul Mujaheedin Bangladesh (JMB), several other fundamentalist terrorist groups are trying to establish bases in the neighbouring country, which is not good news for India. In recent times, one faction of the JMB has reached out to the dreaded terror outfit Islamic State (IS) and the faction is now known as the Neo JMB. The Neo JMB activists are involved in several major incidents of violence in Bangladesh. Moreover, another outfit Ansar Ul Bangladesh Team (ABT) is also trying to strengthen its position in Bangladesh and the outfit is a part of the Indian sub continent wing of the Al Qaeda. The outfit was responsible for the killing of several bloggers who were trying to spread the message of non violence and decried fundamentalist forces through their writings in 2016 and 2017.
Sources pointed out that apart from the terrorist outfits, a number of over ground fundamentalist forces are also active in Bangladesh and they may try to influence local youths in Assam. However, fortunately for India, the Awami League Government led by Sheikh Hasina has been re-elected to power in the neighbouring country. The Awami League Government has been trying its best to keep the activities of such forces down and launched a series of major crackdowns. Sources also admitted that the security agencies of India and Bangladesh are also sharing real time inputs about the movement and activities of such outfits, which is of great help to India.
Security agencies admitted that it is difficult to track the activities of such outfits till they indulge in any unlawful activity. Giving a few examples, sources pointed out that in the late 1990s, more than 40 members of Harkat ul Mujaheedin (HUM) were arrested from different parts of the State and it was learnt that several of them were even trained in Pakistan. But till their arrest, no one knew that such activities were going on in the State. Similarly, the activities of the JMB in the State came to light only after an accidental blast in Burdwan in West Bengal and the network of the outfit in Assam was busted and more than 30 members were arrested. One JMB militant from Assam was arrested in Kerala and another was arrested in Kolkata recently.
Sources admitted that there is need to improve security cover in the remote areas of the State, particularly along the international border areas, while, efforts should also be made to augment the intelligence gathering mechanism to prevent fundamentalist terror groups from establishing bases in the eastern part of India. (Courtesy: AT)