Kolkata: In yet another breakthrough in the October 2 blast case in West Bengal’s Burdwan, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on late Friday night arrested the fourth key suspect Shahnoor Alam, alleged to be the financial brain of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terror group.
According to reports, the NIA captured Shahnoor Alam from Nalbari district of Assam along with the help of central security agencies.
NIA, along with Assam police and central security agencies, were looking for him in the areas where he could be hiding. They arrested him this evening from Nalbari district, official sources said.
Other three key suspects, mastermind Sajid alias Sheikh Rahamatullah, Myanmar national Khalid Mohammed and Abdul Hakim, who were earlier arrested by the NIA are already in judicial custody.
NIA, whose probe into the blast case received a boost after the arrest of Sajid, had been tailing Alam for quite sometime after his name surfaced in the call records and interrogation of the arrested accused person.
The investigating agency had last month arrested his wife but Alam had been on the run since the blast.
Alam, alias Doctor hails from Chatala village Barpeta district in Assam, is alleged to have arranged the money for the Indian modules of JMB.
NIA had also declared a reward of Rs 5 lakh for anyone providing any information about him.
So far, half a dozen have been arrested in West Bengal in connection with the blast and two others for supplying Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) cards. Khalid Mohammed, was arrested from Hyderabad. Nine others were caught from Assam. In Bangladesh, six people were nabbed for their involvement in the blast while three are behind bars as accomplices.
The accidental blast took place inside a house in Khagragarh killing two JMB militants and injuring another. Probing the blast, the NIA has arrested several people including Bangladeshi nationals.
Soon after the blast, the inmates tried to pass it off as a cooking gas cylinder explosion. For days, the West Bengal government downplayed the incident. But the still unravelling mystery spanning beyond India’s borders has left everyone shocked.
While investigators hold the Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh as the culprit, it was significant the explosions took place about a month after al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri announced the formation of its India wing to raise the flag of jihad across the Indian subcontinent.
Though unconfirmed, there have been reports and speculation about the hand of al Qaeda and the SIMI in the incident that prompted Dhaka to despatch senior officials from its intelligence and law enforcement agencies to talk to Indian investigators and interrogate the blast accused.
The various geographic locations from where the accused have been rounded up shows the vast reach of the conspirators.