Assam fears big Hizb ring in state after militant held
In a major breakthrough, the Assam police Saturday arrested a close aide of a suspected Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist who had spent more than three months in Srinagar before starting his activities in central Assam’s Hojai district. The state authorities suspect that a much bigger Hizbul Mujahideen network may be operating in the state.
Saying that the police had arrested Sahidul Alam from his residence, in the Lanka police station area of the district, Hojai superintendent of police Ankur Jain told this newspaper that Sahidul Alam was working in close association with Shahnawaz Alam, who was arrested on Friday.
Saying these arrests came after the arrest of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Qamar- uzZaman, a resident of Hojai, by the Uttar
Pradesh police’s anti- terrorism squad and the National Investigation Agency in Kanpur on September 13, Mr Jain said it was found in the preliminary investigations that Qamar- uzZaman had gone to Srinagar after the return of Sahidul Alam. “We are trying to find out their connections and other related activities in the state,” he said, adding that the investigation had just started. Zaman hails from Jamunamukh in Assam. Security sources said Shahnawaz Alam had got training in Jammu’s Kishtwar district. “Zaman, who was arrested in UP, was spotted on the social media early this year while he was brandishing an AK- 47 rifle. Zaman had plans to carry out subversive activities during Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in UP, ” security sources said. Zaman’s mother, however, told reporters that the security forces had done a good job by arresting him. “Anybody who carries out a war against the country deserves such treatment. Zaman has brought a bad name to the family,” she said. “My son is not greater than the country, I will not see his face. I prayed to God that he should get arrested. We raised Zaman with a lot of trouble,” she added. An Assam police team has, meanwhile, left for Lucknow to interrogate Zaman and find out his links to the state. Indicating that more arrests were likely in the next few days, the security sources said there were reports of a large number of youths missing from central Assam’s Hojai district. Saying that many of them were said to have gone to Jammu and Kashmir for work, the security sources said the police and the security agencies were advising their families to find out their exact whereabouts and the nature of work that they were engaged in.