On July 17, Bangladesh Police arrested a 25-year-old Indian girl from Sadarghat in Dhaka with alleged links to neo-Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). She was tasked with recruiting young Indian girls for JMB’s women wing.
- Suman Bhattacharyya
The Khagragarh Blast in the heart of Burdwan town in West Bengal, in 2014, had shaken Bengal in many ways. It was revealed that the prime accused in the Khagragarh Blast Case were associated with Jamaat ul Mujahideen, Bangladesh (JMB).
Significantly, for the first time in Bengal, the role of women as accomplices in terrorist activities was also exposed. Rajira (alias Razia) Bibi, widow of Shakil Ahmed, who was killed in the explosion and Amina (alias Alima) Bibi, wife of Hasan Saheb, who was critically injured in the blast, had tried to stop the police from entering the premises after the blast and tried to destroy evidence.
Rajira hailed from Karimpur in Nadia district, and Amina was from Lalbagh in Murshidabad district. Bangladesh Intelligence officers were surprised after they interrogated a woman arrested for her alleged association with Jamaat ul Mujahideen, Bangladesh (JMB), from the Sadarghat area of Dhaka.
Ayesha Jannat Mohana, alias 25-year-old Jannatul Tasneem, has revealed that she has an Indian past. According to her claim, she originally hails from Pashchim Keshabpur village of Dhaniakhali Post Office in Hooghly district. Her name was Pragya Debnath. She converted to Islam under the strong influence of a friend when she was in the ninth standard. Her claims are yet to be verified and confirmed from the Indian side. But if her claims are valid, the instance of Ayesha Jannat Mohana reveals how the Islamist terrorist groups operate across the border. Tasneem also claimed she was introduced to Asmani Khatun Asma, the Chief of the Women’s Wing of JMB, online, following which she also registered herself as a member of JMB.
A Police officer reported that Jannat divided her stay between Bangladesh and West Bengal. She also raised funds for the terror outfit from West Bengal. She has also acquired a National Identity card of Bangladesh based on fake documents. According to the Police sources in Bangladesh, Mohana has not been a significant leader of JMB, but the instance of an Indian Hindu girl converting to Islam, and consequently joining a terrorist outfit in Bangladesh is unique.
Mohana was not in any way nervous after her arrest. She had calmly faced the interrogation and explained in details how she travelled across the border frequently. She used to take refuge in the madrasas in the two countries. Mohana claimed she was married to a Bangladeshi, currently in Oman. Bangladeshi police sources claimed that her husband also donated handsomely to JMB.
The case of Pragya Debnath alias Ayesha Jannat Mohana is an eye-opener to the agenda of the Islamist groups in diverting Hindu girls to the cause of Islamic terrorism. It also underlines the inefficiency of the West Bengal Government in tracking such subversive activities.