A recent report from the Bangladesh government to the Union Home Ministry shows an alarming trend of a spike in the number of terrorists infiltrating Indian borders.
According to the report, the number of infiltrations by Harkat-ul-Jihadi al-Islami (HuJI) and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) extremists has increased more than 3 times in 2016 as compared to 2015 and the extremists are entering via the border states of West Bengal, Assam and Tripura.
JMB had a direct role in the October 2014 Burdwan blast at Khagragarh and has active overseas terrorism links as per NIA intelligence.
The report added that nearly 2,010 HuJI and JMB operatives had entered through the 3 bordering states with 720 operatives passing through the Bengal border and the other 1,290 having entered India through Assam and Tripura.
Although the Bengal government has yet to confirm the findings of the Bangladesh report, the number of operatives entering through the state is a rise from earlier trend where the numbers were on the decline. The number of infiltrators were 800 in 2014 but decreased to 659 in 2015.
“There is certainly an increase in terrorist activity because over the last six months, we have arrested 54 JMB operatives,” additional director-general of police (SB), Assam, Pallab Bhattcharyya, was quoted by Times of India as saying.
“We have formed a high-powered committee of top police officers and MLAs to check infiltration. They visit the border regularly and conduct meetings with security forces,” he added.
Senior cops conveyed that militants have appeared to change their operational mechanisms after Khagragarh which was creating difficulties in tracking them.
“Previously, there were certain porous districts like Malda, Murshidabad or Nadia through which they came. Now, they are coming through Assam and Tripura and then entering West Bengal. This is easier and safer for them,” a senior Bengal police officer said. “Being a riverine border, it is difficult for security agencies to keep vigil,” the officer added.
Reports also suggest that JMB secretary Iftadur Rehman entered India on January 12 using a fake passport and is establishing connections with linkmen in Assam and Bengal and may also visit Delhi.