A total of 19 persons, including four Bangladeshi nationals, were sentenced to different terms in jail yesterday over the 2014 bomb blast in West Bengal’s Burdwan district.
The four Bangladeshis were jailed for 10 years, our Kolkata correspondent reports.
Among the Indians, two female convicts were jailed for six years each and others for eight years each, he added.
The convicted four Bangladeshi nationals are: Sheikh Rahmatullah alias Sajid alias Burhan Sheikh alias Surot Ali, Sadiq alias Sumon alias Tarikul Islam alias Raihan Sheikh, Liakot Ali Pramanik alias Rafique alias Rafiqul alias Mohammad Rubel, and Habibur Raman alias Jahidul Islam alias Jabirul Islam alias Zafar.
The Special NIA Court in Kolkata handed down the sentence to the convicts yesterday, two days after it found them guilty in the blast case.
On October 2, 2014, during the Durga Puja celebrations, an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion at a rented two-storey house in Khagragarh in Burdwan town, about 100 km from Kolkata, killed two persons, exposing a network of Bangladeshi jihadi elements running an arms and explosives factory in West Bengal.
The IED had accidentally gone off at the time of its making, NIA said.
The Burdwan blast is significant since it blew the lid off a flourishing network of terror elements belonging to the banned Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in West Bengal, especially in the districts of Burdwan, Birbhum and Nadia.
The NIA took charge of investigations the same year and submitted the first charge sheet in March 2015, mentioning a conspiracy to overthrow the Sheikh Hasina government in Bangladesh.
“The rented house was occupied by the members of JMB, ostensibly for burkha-stitching, though in reality it was being used for the nefarious activity of bomb-making,” said a NIA statement.
The investigation by NIA revealed a conspiracy by JMB to radicalise, recruit and provide training in arms and explosives to its members in India as well as to commit terrorist acts and wage war against the democratically established governments of India and Bangladesh, the statement added.
A large number of IEDs, explosives, hand grenades, training videos were recovered during the investigation of the case.