GUWAHATI: Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, "It is a proven fact that Assam has become a hotbed for Islamic fundamentalists."
He said, "The Assam Police busted five ABT (Ansarullah Bangla Team) modules in the past five months. The documents and literature seized from the arrested jihadis indicate that the situation in Assam is a little bit worrisome. Only one of the six ABT members from Bangladesh, who entered Assam during 2016-17 and have since been running the modules in the state, is in the police net. We are trying to find where and how the other five absconding ABT members have started jihadi modules. National Intelligence agencies gave us inputs in busting the jihadi modules in the state. Since the modules have a foreign link, the NIA (National Investigation Agency) is also investigating it."
The Chief Minister said, "During the Covid-19 pandemic, the ABT members did a lot of groundwork in Assam by imparting training on making explosives, gun training etc. They took advantage of the government machinery remaining busy with the pandemic."
He said, "The aim of the ABT is not to carry out subversive activities in the state. They try to indoctrinate mass people into their fundamentalist line of thinking. Theirs is a long-term plan. We need to check it. The jihadis use the most sophisticated gadgets to communicate with their fellow members. The jihadi module, run by madrassa teacher and technocrat Mustafa Mufti from Moirabari in the Morigaon district, controlled the other four modules in the state. Mufti made all transactions."
The Chief Minister said that Islamic fundamentalists became active in Assam in 1999. "In 1999, the State police arrested a few members of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. The police arrested several HuJI members in 2003-04. From 2011-15, the police arrested several members of the JMB (Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen of Bangladesh) and Hijabul Mujahideen members 2016. And the ABT has been active from 2020-21. The police arrested several members of this outfit."