JMB men lead 2 of 3 JMI factions
Jama'atul Mujahideen India, the Indian wing of mainstream JMB, was divided into three factions due to differences of opinion between leaders.
One faction is led by Salahuddin Ahmed alias Salehin, also the present ameer of the JMB. This group has a network in different states of India and its strongholds are in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
The second faction is led by Jahidul Islam Mizan alias Boma Mizan, a top bomb expert of the outfit, and its stronghold is in Bardhaman. And the third one is led by Ezaj Sheikh, an Indian, which mainly has strongholds in different districts of West Bengal.
Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU) officials of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit claimed to have gotten the information of JMB's Indian wing from Rezaul Haque alias Reza, 37.
Reza, who was the in-charge of JMB in Bangladesh, was arrested by BDU team from the capital's Badda on Saturday.
A Dhaka court yesterday placed Reza on a seven-day remand after SM Raisul Islam, an inspector of CTTC unit, produced him before the court with a 10-day remand prayer in a case filed under the anti-terrorism act with Bhatara Police Station in November last year.
Rahmatullah Chowdhury, in-charge of BDU, told The Daily Star yesterday, "We got some important information about the outfit's Indian part's activities and network details from Reza."
"We are now analysing the information to know the outfit's activities in India," he added.
Salehin went into hiding and took shelter in India after he was snatched from a prison van in February 2014, along with Boma Mizan.
After the two fled to India, the outfit's activities speeded up in the country and a new chapter -- Jama'atul Mujahideen India (JMI) -- was declared in 2018, say investigators.
But conflicts developed between Salehin and Mizan over procedure. Salehin was busy establishing the outfit's network between Bangladesh and India but Mizan wanted immediate actions.
For this reason, in 2017, Mizan formed a separate faction with Indian national Ezaj, said a high official of CTTC unit, quoting Reza as saying.
"Mizan and Ezaj, however, formed separate factions after Mizan started suspecting Ezaj to be an Indian intelligence agent," said the official, requesting anonymity.
On August 6, 2018, India's Intelligence Bureau and elite anti-terror probe body, National Investigation Agency, arrested Mizan from Bengaluru.
The CTTC official in Bangladesh said they believed Ezaj was also arrested by Indian law enforcers, but did not get any confirmation.
"We are now trying to find out who is leading the factions of Ezaj and Mizan in their absence," the official told this newspaper.
Of the three factions, Salehin's group is the strongest in India and it has supporters in most states of the country, the official said, quoting Reza as saying.
JMB leaders Soleman, Firoz, Tareq and Jamai were mainly working for Salehin's faction in India and spreading the network, said investigators.
However, Soleman and Jamai are believed to be in Indian jails, following their arrest by Indian law enforcers. There has been no trace of Firoz and Tareq for a long time, they said, based on the outfit's international communication details.
Reza told investigators that Salehin has been staying in isolation for this reason for a long time and he has no connection with other leaders of the outfit in India now.
"We have learnt that Salehin did not take any financial support from Bangladesh to operate the outfit's activities in India. We are now trying to find out from where and how money is going to JMI," said another CTTC official.
Rahmatullah, also the additional deputy commissioner of CTTC unit, said they were trying to find out details of JMB's network between Bangladesh and India.