Guwahati: The sudden spat of the rise in numbers of arrests of people having connection to the various modules of Ansar al Islam, Bangladesh chapter of Al Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has been troubling the home department lately.
While according to chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, the reason behind the surge of Islamic fundamentalist groups operating in the state might be a ‘pitfall’ of situation in Bangladesh, security forces were worried over a video message from Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in which he appealed for the creation of an Indian branch of his militant group to “raise the flag of jihad” across South Asia.
Bangladesh government lately has been very strict against fundamentalist groups forcing them to spill over to neighbouring Assam.
Director general of police, Assam, Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said, “Jawahari himself in a video message asked to do ‘Hijra’ in Assam which means ‘go to Assam’. It is a little disturbing fact. Another disturbing fact is that AQIS’s magazine has been found to be published in Bangla language in a bid to radicalize people.”
Around 20 persons suspected of having links with Ansar al Islamwere arrested in the state within last three months for allegedly carrying out jihadi activities in Assam.
In the last 24 hours also, Assam police have arrested two persons from Morigaon and Goalpara for having links with the Jehadi groups of Bangladesh. Seven more people were detained from Barpeta and Guwahati on July 28 also and were undergoing quizzing.
What came as a significant development in the recent cases that one Mufti Mustafa who was arrested from Morigaon on July 28 was running a private Madrassa in Moirabari village of the district. Police have already sealed the Madrassa.
Chief minister Sarma said, “Instruction has been issued to the deputy commissioner to immediately transfer the students of the Madrassa to a school. But since Jehadi activities are found to be going on in a private Madrassa, it’s a matter of concern. However, it will be unfair to comment on private Madrassas in general.”
Assam government has already shut down all state-run Madrassas and converted into regular schools.
Assam Police additional DGP (special branch) Hiren Chandra Nath, said, “These modules work very slowly. They first try to reach out to people as social worker, religious preachers and then indoctrinate them into the Jihadi ideology. However, in Assam they could not succeed much as the society in general are not accepting it and alerting police about such activities.”
Earlier, in his video message, Zawahiri said ‘Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent’ would be good news for Muslims in Myanmar (Burma), Bangladesh and in the Indian states of Assam, Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir, where they would be rescued from injustice and oppression.