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Guwahati/Barpeta, Mar 5 (PTI)Five persons have been arrested, including a Bangladeshi national, for alleged links with a jehadi group based in the neighbouring country, which is believed affiliated to the Al-Qaeda in Indian Sub continent (AQIS) from Assam’s Barpeta district, Director General of police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said on Saturday.

Based on an intelligence report shared by the Special Branch of the state police, the Barpeta police apprehended the five persons from areas under the Howlyand Kalgachia police stations, Mahanta said.

The DG said that the arrests could be brought about with cooperation of Muslim citizens of Assam, whom he praised for not responding to extremist messaging.

According to the police, the Bangladeshi national, identified as Md Suman alias Saiful Islam, had indoctrinated four others in a bid to develop Barpeta as a base for jehadi work for AQIS.

The DGP said that several others from the group were still absconding and efforts were on to nab them.

There were intelligence inputs since September last year about the presence of Islam in the state and the police finally managed to track and arrest him and his associates last night. They were produced before the Court on Saturday and remanded to police custody for further investigations.

After the Chief of Ansarul Islam was arrested by Bangladesh Police, Islam was deputed by the organisation to spread the message of Jehad and indoctrinate young potential members in different parts of Assam, Mahanta claimed.

Islam, a resident Dhakaliapara village of Naraynaganj district of Bangladesh, worked as a teacher in his village Masjid but also went around as a talent scout “with the motive of indoctrinating potential candidates for his extremist organisation.

The four others arrested are Khairul Islam, Badshah Suleiman Khan, Naushad Ali and Taimur Rahman Khan.

The police recovered documents and several electronic devices including mobile, laptop, pen drives etc., along with jehadi literature.

“The modus of operation of the organisation is very sophisticated and the use of computers for communication, including transfer of funds. involved very modern and high quality of technology,” the DGP said.

Mahanta said that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will probably take-over the investigation so that a detailed probe can be conducted both in the state and other parts of the country while international agencies may also be involved in the investigations as there may be links to outfits in other countries, besides Bangladesh.

Ansarul Islam was earlier called the Ansarul Bangla Team (ABT) and it has affiliation with the AQIS and has allegedly been involved in the killing of bloggers, artists, poets and even those who refused to follow radical fundamentalism or had an independent train of thoughts, the DGP said.

“The members of the group advocate that people should sacrifice themselves for Islam and Koran and not for their country or their society. They, however, have not succeeded much in Assam as Muslims living in the state do not respond to or encourage such ideas or messages’, he said.

He added that “In fact, it has been with the help and cooperation of the Muslims in the state that they could be apprehended and I thank them for this. I also urge people of all faiths to help in keeping the state safe from such elements.”

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