The banned militant outfit Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) is trying to spread its tentacles across India, said India's National Investigation Agency chief YC Modi on Monday.
In this regard, the agency has shared a list of 125 suspects with different state authorities, he said.
Addressing a meeting of the chiefs of different anti-terrorism squads, the National Investigation Agency chief warned that the militant outfit has spread its activities in states like Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala.
Different sources from Bangladesh Police's Anti-Terrorism Unit and the Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit have also acknowledged this.
After the stern crackdown on JMB militants in Bangladesh, some key operatives of the banned outfit fled the country, said a superintendent of police at the Anti-Terrorism Unit, seeking anonymity.
"JMB started its activities in India's West Bengal in 2008, after two of its senior leaders Salahuddin Saleh and Jahidul Islam Mizan, alias Boma Mizan, crossed over to West Bengal to evade arrest and prosecution in Bangladesh," he said.
Both the militants were accused in the serial blast in Bangladesh that Jamaat-ul Mujahideen carried out in 2005, the very year the outfit was founded, he added.
The two, making a base in West Bengal, started recruiting new members and supervising their training.
In recent years, however, the militant outfit has started expanding its activities in some other parts of India, the police superintendent added.
An additional deputy commissioner of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit said Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh leaders firmly believe in Ghazwa-e-Hind – the ultimate Islamic conquest of India.
"They believe that a revolution will bring a change in Southeast Asia; that is why, they are probably trying to expand their activities in India," said the additional deputy commissioner, who has been investigating the banned outfit for the last 10 years.
Mizan got arrested in India last year; Salhuddin is now acting as the 'Ameer' of the militant organisation in India, he said.
The senior police official also warned that Jamaat-ul Mujahideen operatives have been trying to reemerge in Bangladesh and that the outfit has many followers in the north-western parts of the country like Kurigram, Jamalpur, Chapainawabganj, Mymensingh and Bogura.
"We are also following their activities in these areas," the officer added.
The militants are also connected with some of their followers in Bangladesh, said another police official.
On October 2, 2014, an explosion rocked a house in the Khagragarh locality of Burdwan. Two suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists were killed and another was injured.
"Actually, Jamaat-ul Mujahideen was responsible for this, though they had no intention for the explosion to happen – it happened accidentally while they were experimenting with explosives," said a deputy commissioner of the transnational crime unit.
"Indian intelligence then came to know about the activities of Jamaat-ul Mujahideen in their territory," he added.
Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime chief Monirul Islam could not be immediately reached for a comment.
Md Moniruzzaman, additional deputy inspector general of the Anti-Terrorism Unit, also declined to comment on the matter.
What India's National Investigation Agency says about Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh
India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) Director General YC Modi said, "The NIA has shared with the states concerned a list of 125 suspected activists who have close links with the JMB leadership," reported The Times of India.
Inspector General of the National Investigation Agency Alok Mittal however said the list, which was shared with the states, contains the name of 130 suspects.
He said, between 2014 and 2018, the Jamaat-ul Mujahideen set up 20 to 22 hideouts in Bengaluru and tried to spread its bases in South India.
"The JMB even conducted a trial of rocket launchers in the Krishnagiri hills along the Karnataka border," he said.
Mittal said the militant outfit was keen to attack Buddhists temples to avenge the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
He said the Jamaat-ul Mujahideen had started its activities first in 2007, initially in West Bengal and Assam, and then in other parts of the country.
"During the investigation, it was found that the 130 activists were in regular contact with the JMB leadership," Mittal added.