he chief of the team of Bangladeshi intelligence officers, Monirul Islam, said Bangladesh is looking for two members of the outlawed Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), who escaped from a prison van in Trishal sub-district of Mymensingh district on February 23.
Explaining the reasons for the team’s visit to the city, he said while one of the JMB members was killed in a gunfight, Salauddin Salehin alias Mahin and Zahidul Islam alias ‘Bomaru Mizan’ escaped. Salehin was a death row convict and Islam was a lifer. Salehin was an old member of the highest consultative body, Majlis-ash-Shura, of the JMB. Zahidul Islam was recently inducted into Shura.
“We visited Kolkata mainly to collect more information about them, as we are absolutely sure now that the JMB is involved in the incident,” said the officer. “We requested information about two more members of the JMB, Sohel Mahfuz and Sohel Gazi, who disappeared from Bangladesh and reportedly entered India in 2010,” Mr. Islam said.
The NIA has added the names of some of these men in its list of Bardhaman blast accused and announced rewards, albeit with different names. Sohel Mahfuz was identified as Nasirullah and Zahidul Islam alias ‘Bomaru Mizan’ was identified as Kausar by the NIA and a reward of Rs. 10 lakh was announced for each.
Over the last few months, the NIA and Bangladesh intelligence interacted to finalise the names and the identities of the accused. “We cross-checked with the NIA if the people who committed crime in our country are the same who were involved in the blast,” the officer said.
The officer also said that they are “satisfied” with the cooperation between the agencies in two countries.
“We wanted to get some specific intelligence about JMB’s Bengal network and got some inputs. Perhaps we will be able to share more real-time intelligence in the coming months,” Mr Islam said.