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Ground report: NIA looking for key operatives to track the terror network

Questions have also been raised over why the NIA used the services of this local minor Sheikh Firoz to get to the explosives.

Sougata Mukhopadhyay |

Updated:October 24, 2014, 1:37 PM IST
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Ground report: NIA looking for key operatives to track the terror network
Questions have also been raised over why the NIA used the services of this local minor Sheikh Firoz to get to the explosives.

Kolkata: A cache of some 39 IEDs and chemicals were recovered from a secret chamber atop a toilet inside these premises on Badshahi Road on the outskirts of Burdwan town by the NIA and its assisting NSG commandos on Thursday evening. The explosives were diffused in a controlled environment on Friday morning on the banks of the adjacent Damodar river, and from the nature of the explosions, it is evident that the IEDs were extremely powerful, capable of causing widespread destruction. The owner of this house, Rizaul Sheikh alias Rizaul Karim is absconding, and is a key link to this terror module operating out of Bengal soil. He was the one who's number was found on the hands of arrested Abdul Hakim, who tried to contact Rizaul immediately after the Ghagragarh blasts, possibly trying to warn him to remove this set of explosives that was already stacked inside. What is baffling is that the CID had already paid a visit to this compound on October 7, and had raided and sealed this compound, but did not find anything. It raise questions on the nature of the investigation that was carried out by the state team.

Questions have also been raised over why the NIA used the services of this local minor Sheikh Firoz to get to the explosives.

"The police asked me to climb on top of the chamber and open the gunny bags. They then told me not to tell anyone about anything I saw," Sheikh Firoz said.

Saheb Halder, an eyewitness said, "The CID had come and locked the premises. The NIA team came yesterday and asked us to help them. I was scared, so they took the help of a little boy from this locality."

The Simulia Madrasa in the Mangalkot area, 40 kms from the blast site, acted as the root of the terror module operating out of Burdwan and its neighbouring district.

Almost all the identified terror operatives, whether dead, arrested or absconding, have been found to have close links with this Madrasa - which investigators believe acted as a training center for the militants. The NIA is now looking for key operatives like Sheikh Yusuf and his wife Ayesha, and a man named Abul Kalam, who taught here.

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