A secret chamber was found in the house of suspected Al-Qaeda terrorist Abu Sufiyan, one of the nine persons arrested on Saturday morning in raids by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Sufiyan is among the six persons arrested from West Bengal’s Murshidabad district, while the other three were accused were arrested from Kerala’s Ernakulam. All nine were rounded up through multiple raids in the two states.
The chamber, measuring 10×7 feet, was found during the raid in Sufiyan’s house at Raninagar area of Murshidabad district. However, Sufiyan’s wife told journalists that the chamber had been dug for a septic tank for an attached toilet, adding that the family had told the police about it. Several electronic gadgets were also found from the house during the raid. According to officials, Sufiyan told the police about the chamber when he was being interrogated. Investigators are probing whether the tunnel was dug to store weapons and ammunition.
The six arrested from Murshidabad have been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). A Special NIA court remanded the six in NIA custody.
The arrested — from West Bengal and Kerala — are Murshid Khan, Iyakub Biswas, Mosaraf Hossen, Najmus Sakib, Abu Sufiyan, Mainul Mondal, Leu Yean Ahmed, Al Mamun Kamal and Atitur Rehman.
According to the NIA’s official statement issued on Saturday, “NIA has learnt about an inter-state module of Al-Qaeda operatives at various locations in India, including West Bengal and Kerala. The group was planning to undertake terrorist attacks at vital installations in India with an aim to kill innocent people and strike terror.” The statement added that “As per preliminary investigation, these individuals were radicalised by Pakistan-based Al-Qaeda terrorists on social media and were motivated to undertake attacks at multiple places including the National Capital Region.”