Guwahati: The most wanted man in the October 2 blast in West Bengal's Burdwan - Shahnoor Alam - was arrested from Assam on Friday.
Alam, a dentist - popularly called "doctor" - was the face of Jihadi terror in the state, say Assam police. He was the one setting up hubs of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen - the banned terror group from Bangladesh, which is working to destabilize the Sheikh Hasina government - across eastern India, an officer said.
In August 2005, the JuM (Bangladesh) claimed responsibility for 300 blasts across Bangladesh. Their main purpose now is said to be building a strong base with 100 cadres, using parts of West Bengal as hub. But the lid was blown off their activities after the blast in the house in Burdwan's Khagragarh, where two men, who were apparently making bombs, died.
The jihadi movement is spreading tentacles in west Bengal and Assam and the idea is to use these states for planning, operation and development of modules, said Khagen Sharma, Director General of Police, Assam.
The National Investigation Agency, which is probing the case, has found sleeper modules of the JuM (BD) in Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam.
Officers say the youth of the riot-hit regions of Assam - lower Assam and Barak valley - are most vulnerable to motivation by these jihadi groups. For setting up hubs in Assam and Bengal, their modus operandi is to get a local identity by marrying local women.
Alam was not only in charge of providing logistical support for terrorists across the border, he also was in charge of indoctrinating the local youths. The National Investigation Agency had announced a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh for information on him a month ago.
On November 6, Alam's wife Sujina Begum was arrested by the NIA from Guwahati when it was suspected she too was an active member of the module. Senior NIA officials told NDTV that after blast on October 2, the woman cadre prevented the police from entering the flat.
Alam was in Burdwan that day but he managed to give police the slip. Since then he had been moving around in disguise on the Indo-Bangladesh border, Assam and Meghalaya, skipping locations frequently to avoid arrest. He was finally arrested from Larkuchi village in Nalbari district.
He has been remanded in police custody for 14 days for further interrogation.