NIA chief visits Bengal to review Burdwan blast probe

Kolkata: NIA Director General Sharad Kumar Friday visited West Bengal to review the investigation into the Oct 2 blast in Burdwan in which militant group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh is suspected to be involved.

The blast from an improvised explosive device (IED) in a rented house in Khagragarh killed two suspected militants and injured another.

Six people, including two women, have been arrested in connection with the case being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) following a directive by the union home ministry.

Besides visiting the Khagragarh blast site, Sharad Kumar went to Beldanga in Murshidabad district where one of the dead militants, Shakil Gazi, had a rented accommodation.

"I came here to review the investigation. I visited Burdwan and Murshidabad. I had detailed discussion with my officers to evolve strategies for the arrest of absconding persons," Sharad Kumar later told reporters in Kolkata.

Investigators have been hunting for Kausar and Rezaul Karim from whose house in Burdwan, a cache of improvised bombs was recovered by a NIA team.

NIA is also considering announcement of cash rewards for any information leading to the arrest of the absconding accused who include JMB members from Bangladesh.

Having completed the initial phase of its investigation, the NIA has said the "accused and their associates were members of JMB - a terrorist group proscribed in Bangladesh and they were preparing IEDs which were being transported to Bangladesh".

Beside the six arrested in Bengal, six others were held in Assam for their involvement in the incident. The agency is also probing the link between the Burdwan blast and a bank robbery in Telangana's Karimnagar.

NIA officials Thursday visited Choppadandi village of the Karimnagar district, where four armed men looted Rs.46 lakh from State Bank of India in February this year.

"NIA is conducting a thorough probe into the activities of JMB covering all aspects including the funding of terror activities," said the probe agency.

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