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Two days after Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists attacked a CRPF convoy at Pulwama in Jammu & Kashmir and left 44 soldiers dead, Kolkata police on Saturday arrested an operative of Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) from Kolkata’s Babughat area.

The arrested JMB operative, Ariful Islam alias Arif, hails from Panpara village in Assam’s Barpeta district. Police believe that Ariful was in Kolkata on specific works regarding carrying out survey and prepare a plot to secure escape of Kauser from custody while on way to court from jail.

A Special Task Force (STF) of the Kolkata police arrested Ariful for his alleged involvement in Bodh Gaya blast case of 2018, sources in Kolkata police said adding that the police have got substantial evidence to prove Ariful’s connections with other arrested JMB operatives in Assam.

“Ariful studied at Howli in Assam’s Barpeta district and worked as a helper with truck drivers. He came in touch with Jahidul Islam alias Kauser and Abdul Majid and was given dawat by them to join JMB,” police said adding that he was in contact with Kausar, Kalu, Adil, Hassan alias Umar, Paigambar, Kader Gazi and others of JMB.

“In January 2018, Ariful along with Adil, Hassan alias Umar, Chota Kareem and Kausar had been to Bodh Gaya, conducted reccee and planted explosives and was directly involved in the Bodh Gaya blast. After Bodh Gaya blast, he absconded to Bangalore and got involved in some dacoities with his other associates,” police added.

Ariful’s arrest came on a day when the Ministry of Home Affairs has already asked central forces and state police forces in Northeast to stay alert to the possibility of Pulwama type car bomb attacks in future.

A similar alert has been sounded in Bangladesh where an ISI-backed jihadi plan to hit Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina’s family on December 30 polling day was busted by covert action off the country’s coast.

Indian intelligence has reports that some young men from Assam and Bangladesh have been trained as suicide bombers after they joined the JMB in the last few months.

While the Bengali-origin Muslims joining the JMB allegedly hail from districts where NRC updating has excluded tens of thousands, the recruits from Bangladesh hail from families supporting Jamaat-e-Islami who have faced much harassment from security agencies and Awami League supporters in the last few years.

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