A suspected member of the banned terror outfit Jamat-ul – Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was arrested today from Chennai by the Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police. Acting on a specific tip-off, the officers of the STF raided a house in Chennai and arrested Asadullah Sheikh alias Raja. The 35-year-old JMB operative is originally from Nityanandapur village in Bhatar of East Burdwan district. The officers have been trying to nab him for a long time.

After coming into possession of information about his current whereabouts, the officers raided a home at Cenalpuram in Thoriyapakkam locality of Chennai this morning and arrested him from there. Several incriminating documents and articles have been seized from him. Police sources said that he had been living in the rented house for quite some time. He is allegedly involved in the bomb blast at Mahabodhi Temple complex at Bodh Gaya in 2018. He is also suspected to be the mastermind behind other terror attacks as well.

The officers are also looking into whether Raja was involved in any terror attacks in Chennai as well. He is also learnt to be a close associate of top leaders of the outfit. He was produced in a Chennai court, which granted three days of transit remand for him to be brought to West Bengal for further interrogation. He has been booked under IPC Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy to commit an offence), 121(waging or attempting to wage war against the Government of India), 121A (conspiracy to commit offences), 122 (collecting arms with intention of waging war against the Government of India), 123 (concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war), 124A (sedition) and 125 (waging war against any Asiatic Power in alliance with the Government of India).

The arrest of Raja comes soon after the arrests of JMB’s India head Ejaz Ahmed and Md. Abul Kashem, a key JMB handler. While Ahmed, the main recruiter of the JMB in India and its top functionary, was arrested from Gaya in Bihar, a key JMB handler Md. Abul Kashem alias Kashem was arrested from Ultadanga in Kolkata. The Centre last May declared the JMB as a banned terrorist organisation.