Bangladesh police arrest Indian national with ties to terrorist outfit

Counterterrorism police have arrested an Indian national for her involvement with militant outfit Neo-JMB. 

Published : 18 July 2020, 07:24 AM
Updated : 18 July 2020, 07:24 AM

The woman was detained from Dhaka’s Sadarghat area on Thursday evening and was placed on four-day remand, Deputy Commissioner of police Saiful Islam told

Progga Debnath from West Bengal’s Hooghly area had converted to Islam and changed her name to Ayesha Jannat Mohona alias Jannatun Tasnim, said Saiful. She came into contact with one Amir Hossain Saddam, a Bangladeshi expatriate in Oman, via the internet and later married him over phone.

Tasnim used to communicate online with the women's wing of Neo-JMB. She became Muslim under the influence of the group and maintained close ties with Asmani Khatun, the head of the outfit.

Counterterrorism officials said Tasnim moved to Bangladesh last October in consultation with her husband and continued to communicate with Asmani.She had visited Bangladesh on an Indian passport more than once before, said Saiful, adding efforts are underway to find out the reasons behind her travels.

During her last visit to Bangladesh, she collected a national identity card using a fake birth certificate. Using the NID and with the support of Neo-JMB, she managed to secure jobs at various madrasas in Dhaka’s Keraniganj and Narayanganj’s Fatullah.

After Asmani was arrested in February, Tasnim left her job and went into hiding, said Saiful. She continued to secretly communicate with Neo-JMB.

Tasnim developed an interest in Islam through various online platforms while she was in the ninth grade in 2009. She converted to Islam soon after and began studying the religion online.

That is how she got involved with Neo-JMB, said Saiful. Since then, she has been raising funds and recruiting members for the organisation on the advice of Asmani.

Police have seized an Indian passport, a Bangladeshi NID and a mobile phone from Tasnim.

Police are trying to arrest several more of her associates. There is a chance of obtaining some information about Neo-JMB from Tasnim during interrogation, Saiful said.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
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