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Bodh Gaya Blast: JMB Radical Nabbed, Probe Reveals He Was Planning to Free Associate From Cop Custody

At the time of the blast, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama along with several Buddhist pilgrims were camping at Bodh Gaya to take part in the month-long Kalachakra puja.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:February 16, 2019, 7:13 PM IST
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Bodh Gaya Blast: JMB Radical Nabbed, Probe Reveals He Was Planning to Free Associate From Cop Custody
The JMB terrorist, identified as Ariful Islam alias Shahid (22), was arrested around 5.30am from the Babughat area in Kolkata.
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Kolkata: The Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police on Saturday arrested a suspected Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB) terrorist in connection with the blast in Bodh Gaya in January, 2018.

At the time of the blast, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama along with several Buddhist pilgrims were camping at Bodh Gaya to take part in the month-long Kalachakra puja.

The JMB terrorist, identified as Ariful Islam alias Shahid (22), was arrested around 5.30am from the Babughat area in Kolkata.

Ariful, a resident of Barpeta in Assam, did his schooling from the district’s Howly and used to work as a truck driver’s helper, earlier.

On January 19, 2018, a low-intensity explosive went off and two live bombs were recovered near the Kalachakra ground in Bodh Gaya.

“In 2018, he along with other JMB militants conducted a recce and planted explosives and were directly involved in the Bodh Gaya blast. After the terror activity, he fled to Bengaluru and was involved in acts of robberies. Recently, he came back to Kolkata and was planning to free his associate Kaushar (earlier arrested in the same case) from police custody. Ariful was planning to free Kaushar during a court hearing,” deputy commissioner of police, STF, Murlidhar Sharma, said.

Ariful was arrested under STF case number 1 dated February 2, 2018 and charged under sections 120B/121/121A/123/125 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Several religious leaflets, currency and contacts of his associates in India were recovered from him. Preliminary inquiry revealed he was also involved in fake currency racket.

Sharma said, “Ariful’s arrest is crucial for us to take this case forward. He will be produced before the Bankshall Court in Kolkata.”

Earlier, on February 23, 2018, another active JMB member, Nur Alam, who is originally from Bangladesh, was arrested by the STF for his alleged role in the Bodh Gaya blast.

Nur was arrested from his hideout at Dhulian in Bengal’s Murshidabad district.

Two of Nur’s associates, Paigamber Sheikh (24) and Jamirul Sheikh (31) were arrested in February and during interrogation they revealed Ariful’s name.

It was Nur who tipped the Kolkata STF about Hajibulla, who was the fifth JMB suspect to be arrested in the case, last June.

While Paigamber Sheikh (a resident of Murshidabad) was arrested from Kankuria Gram in Murshidabad, Jamirul (a resident of Ratanpur in Murshidabad) was picked up from Phansideva in Darjeeling.

Few days later, another Bodh Gaya blast accused Ahmed Ali alias Kalu was arrested from Samserganj in Murshidabad.

A team of National Investigating Agency (NIA) officers is also planning to interrogate Ariful.

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| Edited by: Debdeep Mukherjee
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