NIA arrests mastermind of Bodhgaya blasts conspiracy

NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency has arrested a top leader of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) – Mohammad Jahidul Islam alias Kausar, who masterminded the attack at Bodhgaya temple on January 19 this year.
Kausar, wanted in both India and Bangladesh for terror related charges, was also one of the key persons in 2014 Burdwan blasts conspiracy in which JMB had prepared over 100 bombs to carry serious of attacks in West Bengal and other parts of the country. After Burdwan conspiracy, NIA had cracked-down on JMB and most of its members were arrested.

Officials said that Kausar was arrested from his rented accommodation in Bengaluru’s Ramanagara last night and some electronic devices, besides “traces” of explosives were recovered from the place.

The development comes at a time when intelligence agencies have warned that JMB members based in Bangladesh may move to West Bengal and Assam to increase its activities and recruit Indian Muslims for the outfit.

Describing the Bodhgaya conspiracy, NIA officials said 38-year-old Islam had directed his associate Mustafizur Rehman alias Shahin to arrange and assemble the bombs, which were found on January 20 when the Dalai Lama was on a visit to the pilgrimage town. The bombs were later deactivated.

“He is the top leader of JMB (Jamaat-ul-Mujhahiddin Bangladesh) in India and is wanted in Burdwan blast case and in many other cases in Bangladesh also,” a statement by NIA said.

Kausar was produced before the special court for NIA cases, which granted five days of transit remand. He was reportedly living in Bengaluru with his two wives.

After the Bodh Gaya incident, he was hiding somewhere in Jharkhand and later moved to Ramanagara.

The JMB terrorists had planted three IEDs in Bodh Gaya to target Buddhist monks, who had reached the holy city from across the world. The outfit had planned the attack to seek ‘revenge’ for alleged atrocities on Rohingyas in Buddhist-dominated Myanmar.

One of the IEDs planted below a generator set near Kalchakra ground exploded, while two more were recovered – one from near gate number four of Mahabodhi Temple and another near the Tibetan monastery where Buddhist spiritual leader Dalai Lama was staying.

NIA had two days back arrested Rehman and another accused – Abdul Karim from Kerala. So far, six persons have been arrested in the case.

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