West Bengal launches terror alert during Durga Puja

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The state government issued a terrorist alert in the state during “pujas” – an indication that West Bengal is the new target of terrorism.

Although senior police officers have yet to draw a conclusion, arrests carried out by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Kolkata Special Task Force (STF) in recent months show the movement of terrorist modules in the ‘State.

Read also | 5-century-old Durga Puja, founded by the royal family, remains a big draw in Tripura

According to the NIA, these terrorists are using Bangladesh’s porous border to enter the country. The alert issued by the Interior Ministry asked the organizers of Durga puja to put in place systems to monitor crowd movements. They were asked to install CCTV cameras and watchtowers near the puja pandals and to work in close coordination with the local police station.

The notice also mentioned that the immersion of all idols was to be completed between October 15 (Dashami) and October 18 in consultation with local police stations. “In the context of the prevailing threats from division groups and terrorists to destabilize the country and create public order problems, you are advised to exercise the utmost vigilance when celebrating festivals,” the statement read. .

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He further suggested: “Community puja organizers should be urged to engage a sufficient number of volunteers in puja pandals to monitor the movement of suspicious persons and all volunteers should be urged to keep in constant contact with local police. . The state government effort to involve the puja committees in the security mechanism is an important development. This shows that the state interior ministry is considering a broader chain of safety and security, which in itself is conclusive enough to understand the importance and the possibility of an attack, ”said a senior official at the state’s interior ministry.

The NIA arrested Aal Halif aka Abu Ibrahim – one of the most feared ISIS managers on this subcontinent since Bengaluru in 2020. This ISIS manager was a deserving student of economics before he entered the world. of terror. Halif disguised as Sujit Chandra Debnath worked as a mason’s assistant in Bengaluru.

Read also | Calcutta gears up for moderate Durga Puja celebrations

Likewise, Kolkata STF – Kolkata’s elite police force arrested three JMB managers – Naziur Rahman Pavel, Mikail Khan and Rabiul Islam – who infiltrated India and resided in the city’s upscale residential neighborhood. To avoid detection, Pavel used the Hindu name Jayram Bepari. He and Mikail Khan, aka Sheikh Sabbir, befriended two Hindu women from the Haridevpur area and planned to get married. This would have helped them recruit more people without arousing suspicion.

These are not isolated examples, but there are several other cases where terrorists have used religion as a tool to deceive investigators. “Religion is no longer a taboo for terrorist groups, rather they use it as a tool to hide their identity. Changing religion is no longer an important thing for these managers, but they are using it effectively to dodge it. surveillance, “said a senior Kolkata Special official. said the task force officer (STF).

Read | People throng the Puja pandals; WB government says to avoid crowds

Another factor that keeps police and investigative agencies on their toes is the lockdown and resulting unemployment that makes the work of these terrorist groups easier. Taking advantage of the porous border with Bangladesh and unemployment, international terrorist groups like JMB, Ansarullah Faction and even the Islamic State are trying to expand their network in the state.

The aim is to make West Bengal the seat of terrorist activity throughout eastern India. Sometimes through direct interaction and sometimes online, they target smart young boys and girls who are unemployed in the state. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Kolkata Police Special Task Force (STF) obtained this information from the three JMB terrorists who were recently arrested by STF detectives in a settlement on the southern outskirts of Kolkata.

Investigators fear that as a result of the systematic brainwashing of these terrorist groups, many deserving but unemployed young people are being lost from mainstream society.

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