‘Pakistan terror groups send grenades to India via Bangladesh’

August 21st, 2008 - 2:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Aug 21 (IANS) Pakistan-based militant outfits Harkatul Mujahideen (HuM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) have been sending grenades to India via Bangladesh, an unnamed Bangladeshi intelligence official was quoted as saying in a media report Thursday. Pakistan’s terror groups principal contact in Bangladesh is Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami (Huji), one of the organisations Dhaka has banned, but continues to operate.

Bangladesh has in the recent months rejected Indian allegations of the involvement of Huji, as also Jamaát ul Mujahideen, Bangladesh (JMB) in blasts in Hyderabad, Bangalore and other Indian cities.

“A top intelligence official said the statements of Huji leaders, held with grenades, suggest that Pakistan-based militant organisations sent several consignments of grenades to Islamist militants in India via Bangladesh,” The Daily Star said Thursday.

Some grenade consignments were, however, used in Dhaka Aug 21, 2004, at a political rally being addressed by former prime minister Sheikh Hasina, who had a narrow escape.

Twenty-two Awami League workers and rally participants died and hundreds were injured at the rally held this day, four years ago.

Media reports Thursday said that the investigations had so far failed to detect the source of the grenades.

The investigations, ordered by then government of prime minister Khaleda Zia, were “stunted” under orders of then home minister Altaf Hussain Choudhury and Minister of State for Home Lutfozzaman Babar.

One of the key persons behind the grenade movement was Maulana Tajuddin, a brother of a deputy minister in the Zia government, Abdul Salam Pintu.

Investigators say Maulana Tajuddin, who supplied the grenades for the Aug 21 attacks, “helped militants use Bangladesh as a transit point for smuggling grenades”, The Daily Star said.

Although Interpol has issued a red alert for Tajuddin, he remains untraced, said assistant superintendent of the Criminal Investigation Department Fazlul Kabir, also the investigation officer of the cases.

Investigators suspect that Tajuddin is holed up either in Pakistan or in South Africa, the newspaper said.

Tajuddin also has close ties with detained Huji leader Mufti Abdul Hannan who studied with him at a Quwami madrassa in Lahore of Pakistan in the 80s.

Mufti Hannan, one of the masterminds of the grenade attacks that left about two dozen AL leaders and activists dead and scores injured, is also charged in the cases.

CID chief Mohammad Javed Patwari told New Age newspaper: “We came to know during investigation and from information gathered from the arrested suspects that Pintu’s bother Maulana Tajuddin had supplied the grenades.”

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