West Bengal government resorts to ‘Tom & Jerry’ tactics centering Bangladesh MP’s murder

In December 2001, two Muslim leaders of Trinamool Congress (TMC) secretly entered Bangladesh through Tripura and held meeting with Ayman al-Zawahiri and other members of Al Qaeda

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Partha Chatterjee, SSC scam, Arpita Chatterjee, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda, Trinamool Congress, TMC, Mamata Banerjee, Kolkata, West Bengal, Anwarul Azim Anar

Drugs, gold and hawala have become common scenarios in West Bengal, including its capital Kolkata because of rampant Kleptocracy where big-brasses of Trinamool Congress (TMC), including several amigos of chief minister Mamata Banerjee are directly or indirectly involved.

Although Mamata Banerjee came to power with the promise of better governance and improved law and order, due to her miserable failure as well as notoriety of her own party comrades, West Bengal has emerged into safe haven for gangsters, scammers, money-launderers, smugglers, contract-killers, and fugitives – Kolkata, once known as a safe city has become capital of crimes.

The Crime Statistics 2012 report, published on June 11, 2013, contained some disturbing data. According to the report, West Bengal is – 1st in incidence of crimes against women, 4th highest incidence of violent crimes in India, and 3rd highest in incidents of rapes.

According to a media report, contract killings are also on rise in West Bengal due to “ideology-driven politics” and “muscle power politics”. Meanwhile, a whitepaper released by the Future Chime Research Foundation, West Bengal has also become a hotspot of cybercrime, where various forms of digital criminal activity are on the rise. Such activities are mainly continuing in Purba Bardhaman, Dhulchandria, Bhadral, Dakshin Dinajpur, Birbhum, Paschim Bardhaman, Burnpur, Barchaman, Howrah, Kolkata, Malda, Baharampur, Nadia, and Nekra Mahuli (Paschim).

Meanwhile, West Bengal under Mamata Banerjee has also become a breeding ground of radical Islamic elements such as Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) and jihadist outfits. In 2018, Jama’atul Mujahideen India (JMI) opened its office in West Bengal which is led by Salahuddin Salehin and Jahidul Islam two terrorists on Bangladesh’s most wanted list who have been living in West Bengal since 2014. Salahuddin Salehin escaped from Bangladesh jail in 2014 and entered West Bengal. He is a committed jihadist who has been sentenced to death in Bangladesh for his role in the Mymensingh court bombing in 2007, the targeting of several Christian youths in Jamalpur and the killings of Hridoy Roy in April 2003 and Joseph Gani Gomez Mandal in September 2004. Since then, he has been operating activities of Jama’atul Mujahideen India, while West Bengal authorities are unable to nab this notorious jihadist.

West Bengal’s state government has not been able to check the spread of radical and extremist ideologies. The incumbent Trinamool Congress (TMC) party has been accused of being soft on extremists because it looks at the Muslim community as a vote bank. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her party often turn a blind eye to radicalism committed under the cover of religious activities – including the “Islamic dawah” project run by Tablighi Jamaat.

In October 2014, TMC came under heavy criticism of being soft on terror when an explosion occurred in a house in the Khagragarh locality of Burdwan district in West Bengal. Two suspected terrorists were killed and a third injured. Later, police seized IED (improvised explosive devices), chemical etcetera from the building which was owned by Trinamool Congress leader Nurul Hasan Chowdhury. Party office of TMC was located at the ground floor of this building.

Secret meeting between TMC leaders and Ayman al-Zawahiri

In December 2001, when Al Qaeda kingpin Ayman al-Zawahiri, along with several members of the jihadist-terrorist outfit was hosted by ultra-Islamist Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), two Muslim leaders of Trinamool Congress (TMC) secretly entered Bangladesh through Tripura and held meeting with Zawahiri and other members of Al Qaeda at Ashuganj Fertilizer Factory premises under Ashuganj district. Zawahiri’s secret Bangladesh trip was first exposed by eminent journalist and counterterrorism expert Alex Perry through an article, which appeared in the TIME magazine on April 14, 2002.

Following publication of Alex Perry’s article, journalist Bertil Lintner in another article in South Asia Terrorism Portal wrote:

“…While Bangladesh is yet far from becoming another Pakistan, Islamist forces are no doubt on the rise, and extremist influence is growing, especially in the countryside. According to a foreign diplomat in Dhaka, “In the 1960s and 1970s, it was the leftists who were seen as incorruptible purists. Today, the role model for many young men in rural areas is the dedicated Islamic cleric with his skull cap, flowing robes and beard”.

It is unknown if Mamata Banerjee was aware of her party leader’s secret meeting with Ayman al-Zawahiri and other Al Qaeda men. But certainly, this meeting generates several questions, confusions and even doubt about the motive of TMC leaders meeting Zawahiri as the party is known for its extreme bias towards Muslims and Islamists.

Now let me focus on the horrific murder of Bangladeshi lawmaker Anwarul Azim Anar in a posh apartment in Kolkata. According to Interpol, in 2008 this international organization had issued a notice against him in connection with several criminal cases, including arms and explosives, as there were several pending cases in Jhenaidah and Chuadanga districts in Bangladesh. Even after being wanted by Interpol, Anwarul Azim Anar continued visiting West Bengal – both through legal and illegal ways. It is even claimed by people in his constituency that immediately after Interpol had issued a warrant in 2008, Anar crossed the border and took shelter at the residence of a friend in West Bengal, where he stayed for several months.

According to media reports, during interrogation, Shilasthi Rahman – the woman who was used for honey-trapping the Bangladeshi lawmaker said, while Anwarul Azim Anar was in the Sanjiba Garden apartment, he was forced to make a call to his friend Gopal Biswas, who hails from North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal asking Indian rupees 420,000 in cash. Subsequently, the amount was sent by Gopal Biswas to Anar. It may be mentioned here that, as per existing foreign exchange control law of Bangladesh, any citizen visiting a SAARC country is allowed to carry an amount not exceeding US$2,000 only.

But Gopal Biswas sent INR 420,000 to Anar. If we even hypnotically say – Biswas gave this amount to the Bangladeshi lawmaker as loan – how would this be later refunded? Through illegal hawala channels indeed. In this case, it is evidently proved – Anwarul Azim Anar was having financial transactions with Gopal Biswas using illegal hawala channel – which is a punishable crime both under the laws of Bangladesh and India. Despite such shocking revision, investigating agencies in Kolkata neither have interrogated Gopal Biswas nor questioned about his connections in cross-border money-laundering or hawala activities.

A source claims, Gopal Biswas has intimacy with several influential leaders of Trinamool Congress, while he also is aware of West Bengal’s State School Service Commission (SSC) scam kingpin Partha Chatterjee’s transfer of three billion Indian rupees to Anar for investing in gold, drug and cattle smuggling. Partha’s aide, actress Arpita Mukherjee met Anwarul Azim Anar several times in Kolkata, while she was one of the coordinators of this financial transaction. The slain Bangladesh lawmaker was also maintaining “healthy relations” with several female actresses from Tollygunge film industry, including at least two of the female MPs – one of whom has been recently accused for her involvement in a Ponzi scheme.

West Bengal government’s ‘Tom & Jerry’ game

After more than two weeks of the murder of Anwarul Azim Anar, law enforcement agencies in Kolkata are leaking contradicting information to the media, while until now – investigation is continuing based on a General Diary (GD) filed by Gopal Biswas stating his friend Anar is missing. Kolkata Police even are saying that unless the forensic report is done, they cannot ascertain whether Anar was murdered or he has been missing. They also told German broadcast network Deutsche Welle (DW) that, Akteruzzaman Shahin, the mastermind behind murder or disappearance of Anar – in addition to his rented flat number 56 of BU block of Sanjiba Garden, an elite residence in Newtown, Kolkata, Shahin also has another rented apartment in Kolkata city and he maintains a chauffeur-driven car.

According to Deutsche Welle, it is not permissible for any foreigner to rent properties in India unless s/he has valid permission from the authorities concerned. But in this particular case of Akteruzzaman Shahin, he took two houses along with a car, driven and domestic help without permission. Commenting on this matter, people with knowledge about West Bengal said, anyone having financial ability can easily rent a house office or even wire house in West Bengal, including Kolkata city as the local laws are extremely reluctant. It is further learnt, currently there are hundreds of apartments rented by Bangladeshi nationals, while even Rohingya Muslims can rent a house with the help of Muslim leaders of TMC as well as local madrassas and mosques.

This particular information about foreigners being able to easily rent any property in West Bengal is alarming as jihadists and terrorists also can easily continue their activities sitting on Indian land. And indeed, this poses a serious threat to India’s national security.

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