The Assam government on Monday informed the assembly that 84 people have been arrested in the state since May 2016, when the first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government was formed, on charges of jihadi activities.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who also holds the home portfolio, gave the details of the arrest while replying to a question by Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia on the first day of the fall session.
Of those arrested, 35 are from Jamat Ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), 9 from Hijbul Mujahideen (HM) and another 40 from Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) – all three terrorist groups in Bangladesh.
The government told the council that the people arrested, 10 of them, including Saiful Islam, a Bangladeshi national known as Mohammed Suman, were arrested in madrasas in one way or another.
“These people used to give speeches in mosques and mosques related to Jihad and in places of religious meetings where they were making people aware of their participation in Jihad and distributing Jihad literature. So far, no one has been injured or killed in Assam due to jihadi activities,” Sarma said in his reply.
He added that investigations and court cases against the 84 people accused of jihad are included. The Center has been informed about Jihad activities and there are no specific instructions from New Delhi till date.
“The government has said that madrasas in Assam have become places where jihad activities take place. But only 10 of those arrested for such activities are associated with madrasas,” said opposition leader and Congress legislator Debabrata Saikia.
In a related development, two more people were arrested on jihadist charges by the Morigaon district police on Sunday. The two were accused of having ties to Mufti Mustafa, the director of a madrasa that was closed last month. This madrasa has been leveled by the government as it is not safe.
“In the month of October 2021, Jihadi training was given in Morigaon by a citizen of Bangladesh, and Mufti Mustafa facilitated it. Five people attended the training. While three of them were arrested earlier in Barpeta district, we nabbed two more on Sunday. One is a mosque imam and the other is a relative of Mustafa,” said Morigaon police chief N Aparna.