The New Delhi-based news channel, News X, claimed leaders of Assam's All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and a leading Islamist organisation, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, had sent a group of youths from Sukchar area in the state's Dhubri district for Jihadi training from terrorist organisations in Bangladesh’s Rangpur in June-July last year.
The channel, quoting intelligence reports, also said apart from the first batch of youths, the leaders of the AIUDF and the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind personally handpicked the members of the second team that went to Bangladesh last November.
The Assam police, however, are tight-lipped, neither confirming nor denying the report.
The AIUDF, meanwhile, has threatened to sue the channel, claiming that the report was “false and politically motivated.”
The party, at a press conference in Guwahati, demanded a “thorough investigation” into the matter by the Centre.
Other political parties in Assam, however, have upped their ante against the AIUDF, the main opposition party in the state legislative assembly.
Following the news channel’s report, Assam BJP leader Ranjit Das accused the AIUDF President and chief of the Assam unit of the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind Badruddin Azmal and several of his MLAs of having link with Jihadi organisations in Bangladesh, and demanded their immediate arrest.
He also asked the Central Government to ban the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind and the AIUDF.
Assam's regional political party, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) demanded that a high-level inquiry be conducted considering the seriousness of the report.
Assam Police had earlier arrested six suspected terrorists belonging to Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) from Barpeta district in connection with Oct 2 blast in Burdwan district of neighbouring West Bengal.
AIUDF MLA from Barpeta Abdur Rahim Khan had criticised the police action, saying it was stage-managed.
Soon after this, several AIUDF and Jamiat Ulama-e Hind leaders were placed under surveillance by the country's intelligence agencies.
The NIA, which concluded its preliminary investigation into the Burdwan blast, has detected 58 terror modules of the JMB in West Bengal.
Intelligence report also indicated that JMB terrorists were making IEDs to carry out, both in India and Bangladesh, subversive activities, including the assassination of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and BNP chief Khaleda Zia.
After the arrest of the JMB militants in Assam, AIUDF chief Azmal, who is also a Lok Sabha MP from Dhubri, had said Islam preached peace and hence terrorism had no place in Islam.
“The AIUDF does not support any Jihadi militant organisation,” he reiterated.
Central intelligence agencies have already alerted the Assam government about several jihadi organisations trying to set up their network mostly in the char areas in the districts of Dhubri, Barpeta and Goalparha, bordering Bangladesh.
These intelligence reports named jihadi organisations like HuJI, SIMI, MULTA.