Hizb ‘start-up’ foiled in Assam

first_imgThe police in Assam have arrested more alleged members of the extremist group Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), believed to have been planning to launch a disruptive “start-up” in the State.On Monday, the police in central Assam’s Nagaon and adjoining Hojai districts, arrested three men — Riyazuddin Bhuyan, Joynal Ahmed and Baharul Islam. Sleuths, police said, had been keeping a watch on the trio after inputs that they had assisted HM operative Qamar-uz-Zaman during his visit to the State in August.Qamar, hailing from Jamunamukh in the Hojai district, was arrested last week from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Four of his associates, including one from Meghalaya, had been arrested till Sunday.Cashing inThe police said the HM had sent Qamar to Assam to radicalise Muslim youth, possibly to cash in on a feeling of victimisation because of the exclusion of many from the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC). “They had plans to launch a start-up in Hojai district. We had kept tabs on the suspects but did not have concrete evidence on their connection with the HM. The arrests were made after collecting technical evidence,” Ankur Jain, Hojai district Superintendent of Police, said.He did not specify the nature of the start-up the HM or Qamar’s associates had been planning to set up.Tracing contactsAssam’s Director General of Police (DGP) Kuladhar Saikia, who is monitoring the investigation, said police traced the people Qamar had contacted or moved around with during his “recruitment trip” in August.Qamar had avoided his home in Jamunamukh but stayed in the house of one Shahnawaz Alam arrested last week. Police said Qamar had also used Riyazuddin’s motorcycle to move around during his stay.Qamar is believed to have been radicalised in Kashmir, where he had gone on some business a few years ago. Police came to know about his joining HM from his photo, in fatigues and holding an AK-47 rifle, uploaded on social media.Assam had a few short-lived Islamist groups that allegedly worked for Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) to help militant outfits such as the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) in the 1990s.last_img

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