The hit list of Bangladeshi bloggers exposed

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The militants, who had links with Ansar-al-Islam, had made a new hit list of Bangladeshi bloggers whom they want to eliminate

Indian Special Task force (STF) has said the two Bangladeshi militants who were recently detained from Kolkata had plans to murder bloggers in Bangladesh.

The militants, who had links with Ansar-al-Islam, had made a new hit list of Bangladeshi bloggers whom they want to eliminate, reports the Times of India.

On Tuesday, Kolkata police arrested three people, including two Bangladeshi nationals – Samsad Mian alias Tanvir (26), along with Rizaul Islam alias Riyaz –from near Kolkata Railway Station.

A 32 mm pistol, a flash drive, al-Qaeda documents on how to make explosives, religious documents (both in English and Hindi) were recovered from them.

According to the report, the information has already been shared with Bangladesh authorities and blogger Farukh Sadiq was named at the top of the hit list

A senior officer told the Times of India that none of the arrested are part of the core strike team.

The Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) was rechristened the Ansar-al-Islam and has been banned in Bangladesh in March.

The Times of India reported that at least six arms – of 7.32 mm and 9mm – have been smuggled through the porous India-Bangladesh border in the past six months by Ansarullah modules.

Sources said arms smuggler Monotosh De smuggled weapons through other Ansarullah members but there are two other smugglers based in West Bengal who are directly dealing with the men of the militant group.

Quoting the sources, Times of India said the particular module – especially Tanvir, along with Riyaz – were instructed to procure chemicals like ammonium nitrate from shops in Kolkata.

Stating that the duo entered India in July 2016, Lalbazar sources said an agent took the two Bangladeshis to Manegura area in Hyderabad where a lot of Bangladeshis are employed in slaughter houses and mutton factories.

Tanvir and Riyaz worked in Hyderabad for around three months before the company they work for was a closed down.

Later, they moved to Belgaum in north Karnataka and began working in a similar factory along with a few other Bangladeshis.

Tanvir had settled Belgaum and was even operating a bank account. However, he was later instructed to move to Pune. Tanvir worked as construction labour in Pune despite being a civil engineer himself.

Tanvir and Riyaz complained back to Bangladesh that they needed to shift and accordingly Tanvir shifted back to Hyderabad and got a job of a computer hardware engineer.

A top official of Indian Special Task force told the Times of India that they were given instructions from Bangladesh to move in September this year and so they first went to Patna and then to Ranchi before finally moving to Kolkata on Dashami.

Their handler asked them to find a shelter in the city or its surroundings, the official added.

Police sources said Tanvir was a member who rose from being a “highly westernized youth” to that of the head of its explosives wing.

Stating that Tanvir belongs to a well-to-do family, another senior official said: “He claimed he had gone to an engineering college in Syhlet where he was staying with his sister on rent.

The official said Tanvir’s senior Mamun, who is under Bangladesh police’s custody, had forced him to visit mosques and asked him to grow a beard.

Sometime in 2014, Tanvir was blindfolded and taken to sacked major Syed Ziaul Haque, commonly referred to as Major Zia.

The officer added Tanvir became more radicalized when his family became distant from him after noticing changes in him.

Dhaka Tribune

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