M A I N   N E W S

Regrouping of ultras rings alarm bells
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 12
The Ministries of External Affairs and Home are understood to have sent classified reports to the Prime Minister’s Office regarding a disturbing development in the neighbourhood: regrouping of Jamiat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

A second rung of leadership has been formed by the JMB. They have adopted a new name “Kital Fi Sabilillah” (armed movement for Islam), which actually translates into “establishment of Islamic rule”.

The Kital Fi Sabilillah or the KFS appears to be working in a more scientific way. It is concentrating in areas where they have strength — from Sylhet in northeast Bangladesh through the districts of the northwest of the country down to southwest in Satkhira.

This wide belt has been divided into five command divisions with established leadership hierarchy, ideological indoctrination and arms training camps, the Cabinet Secretariat is understood to have sensitised the PMO.

The JMB belt contours the Indian borders from the North-East to West Bengal. These borders remain highly porous and a haven for smugglers from both sides indulging in all sorts of activities, including smuggling of illegal arms and explosives. Most of these are criminal activities but they supplement the arsenals of the radical terrorists for a price.

According to the confession of JMB chief Sheikh Abdur Rahman, the first JMB foreign unit was set up in the Murshidabad district of West Bengal in 2001. Rahman was arrested along with several other top brass of the outfit a week after US President George W Bush’s India visit in March this year.

The JMB foreign unit fell into some disarray due to financial irregularities. This unit is being revamped from August this year with some cadres infiltrated into India.

Murshidabad is a strategic centre for the activities of SIMI, Jamat-ul-Islam-e-Hind and is a traditional conservative Muslim stronghold. Murshidabad could be used by the JMB in their terror activities during the Bangladesh elections as a strategic depth. Similar will be the case with the Assam border with Bangladesh, where MULTA is increasingly linking up with the JMB in Sylhet.

The manner in which the “Terror Seven” trial case has metamorphosed in a sudden turn last month and the laxity in both legal proceedings and the arrest of terrorist elements suggest a rather sinister design in the offing.

New Delhi’s sense is that all these developments portend a hot winter in Bangladesh. India cannot remain unaffected if Bangladesh sinks into turmoil in the course of the next elections. 



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