Assam-based trader held for suspected terrorist links in Siliguri

A small time trader hailing from Assam, has been arrested from here on the suspicion of having alleged links with Assam militants and possibly Islamic State, top police officials said on Sunday.

A large police contingent headed by Additional Deputy Police Commissioner Mrinal Majumder and Assistant Police Commissioner Pinaki Majumder raided the house of Lalit Das (50), at Kabitirtha Sarani in the city last midnight, the officials said.

The raid lasted for two hours and Das was taken to Siliguri police station for further interrogation, the officials said.

No arms or documents were recovered, the officials said. However, officials said police had information that ULFA and National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) militants used to regularly visit the house.

Residents of the area said often unknown people used to come and stay in the three storied house at night and work in candle light in the upper floors. Das himself has acknowledged that people from Assam were regular visitors to his house, the official said.

The detective department had prior information that militants, including those linked to the dreaded Islamic State, wanted to create terror in Siliguri, a business hub and adjoining areas and plans were being drawn up to this effect.

The officials were however, tight-lipped as to whether Das was an IS linkman. Tension prevailed in the area following the development, sources said. 

On December 2, Sheikh Badal, 59, a resident in the Kareya Police Station limits, was arrested from the eastern side footpath in front of the Regional Passport office on Brabourne Road in the central business district here.

Badal had been booked under the Indian Penal Code sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against the Government of India), 121A (conspiracy to commit offences punishable by section 121), 489B (using as genuine forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes) and 489C (possession of forged or counterfeit currency-notes or bank-notes).

Last Sunday the STF unit of the Kolkata Police arrested a contract labourer with the Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE) Irshad Ansari, his son Asfaq Ansari and brother-in-law Mohammed Jahan on Sunday for their suspected role as ISI agents.


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