New Delhi: Indicating that Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) is a threat to the nation, National Investigation Agency (NIA) Director General Y.C. Modi on Monday said the terror group has been attempting to expand its operations across India and a list of 125 suspects has been shared with different states.
Speaking at the NIA’s National Conference of chiefs of the Anti Terrorism Squads (ATS) and Special Task Forces (STF), Modi said the JMB, a Bangladesh-based outfit, has spread its activities in states like Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala in the guise of Bangladeshi immigrants.
The NIA chief said that JMB’s activities have also increased in Assam, Odisha and Jharkhand and they are investigating it.
“In NIA’s pan-India probe, we got to know that JMB is not only active in Assam, Odisha and Jharkhand but also they are spreading their activities in other states such as Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra. A list of 125 suspected JMB members has already been circulated to the concerned states,” Modi said.
“These leads would not have come to the fore if NIA did not investigate the case across India. As the investigation of the state police is limited, there is need to focus on the gravity of cases and such inputs should be shared with the NIA so that larger conspiracy could be unearthed,” NIA Inspector General Alok Mittal said, adding that the JMB has set up 20-22 hideouts in Bengaluru and tried to spread its bases in South India from 2014 to 2018.
Mittal said the JMB even conducted a trial of rocket launchers in the Krishnagiri hills along the Karnataka border and was planning to attack Buddhist temples to take revenge for the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
The NIA DG added that the conviction rate by the anti-terror agency has been 90 per cent in the cases dealt by it so far.
He also mentioned that state police forces have played a major role in dealing with terror related cases along with the NIA by sharing information and best practices.
“The coordination between state police forces and the NIA has led to effective investigation. In some cases, we have achieved success in avoiding terror attacks. State police forces should be praised for their efforts.”
Noting that radicalisation is a major issue in terror cases, the NIA chief said the matter would be discussed in the two-day conference which began on Monday. Issues related to cyber forensics is also part of the discussions, he said.
Referring to the Manipur missing arms case, in which 56 9mm pistols were stolen from the armoury of the Manipur police with 58 loaded magazines, Modi said the weapons were being provided to the insurgents in 2016.
“After taking over the investigation of the case from state police in June 2018, NIA unearthed the major conspiracy behind the missing arms. A total of 12 people, including a sitting MLA, were arrested in the case and 20 weapons have been seized. Further investigation is on to recover the other weapons.”
Mentioning that the NIA wants to establish itself in the world’s top such agencies list, Modi said the NIA has begun its “teen sutriya prayas” (three way effort) to deal with terrorist activities that includes “consumption of best human resources in NIA, use of advanced technical mechanism and all law abiding resources”.
Because of NIA headquarters in Delhi, Lucknow, Guwahati and Hyderabad, there has been a drastic change in the work of the agency officials. He said that an administrative office for the NIA will be started soon in Raipur in Chhattisgarh.
“NIA’s sanctioned strength has also been increased. I am obliged to the Ministry of Home Affairs for the help”, he said