Youth Congress leader suspected to be Lashkar agent arrested, Congress denies connection

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested a former NSUI (National Students’ Union of India) and Youth Congress leader Dhannu Raja based on information provided by a recently arrested Lashkar e Taiba agent. Media reports suggest that he himself is a suspected Lashkar agent .

Dhannu Raja (also known as Bedar Bakht), was arrested from Gopalganj in Bihar is said to be associated with the Congress’ student and youth wing. A resident of Saran, he is believed to have been active in local politics from the past 4-5 years. After his arrest, Raja has been taken to Patna by the NIA, to be placed in a transit remand. He will be later taken to Delhi.

As per reports, Raja, son of Firoz Alam, used to live with his maternal uncle Ismail. Raja’s father hails from the Aphaur village in Chhapra district and currents works in Saudi Arabia. Raja became active in NSUI politics after he relocated to his maternal uncle’s home.

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Reports claim that as per Gopalganj SP Mrityunjay Kumar Chaudhari, Raja’s name came under the radar of the investigative agencies after the arrest of Lashkar operative Abdul Naeem Shaikh. Raja’s name emerged during Shaikh’s interrogation after which the NIA team reached Gopalganj on Thursday. It then arrested Raja from the city’s Jadopur road on Friday evening.

Since Raja’s arrest, the Gopalganj region has been placed on high alert. As a result of this, the police stations have been instructed to increase their vigilance and have also been asked to keep tabs on suspects.

After Raja’s arrest, Congress and NSUI seem to have plunged into damage control mode to deny any association with him.

As per Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee’s Gopalganj unit chief, Aftekhar Haider, Raja earlier used to be associated with the NSUI but had nothing to do with them in recent times.

NSUI’s district president Irshad Ali, in a press release has claimed that their organisation has an electoral process where winners are chosen as office bearers. He then claimed that Raja hadn’t taken the student union’s membership in the past 3-4 years.

However, Facebook profile of this Dhannu Raja though sings a completely different tune. As per this Facebook profile, Raja calls himself the General Secretary of Indian Youth Congress and a former district president of NSUI.

On his Facebook profile, Dhannu has listed various activities he had undertaken as active Youth Congress member and a supporter of the congress party. In a Facebook post as recent as on November 25, he identifies himself as office bearer of Youth Congress.

What further links his association with the Congress party is a newspaper clipping shared on his Facebook account on 11th June, which reports that Dhannu Raja had become the new Secretary of the Youth Congress in Gopalganj district:

Based on these developments, it remains to be seen if the authorities launch an investigation if Raja had a particular interest in infiltrating the political system and how active he was in supporting Lashkar or other terror organisations.

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