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7 questions that Mamata Banerjee govt must answer about the murder of Bangladeshi MP Anwarul Azim Anar in Kolkata

There are several organized rackets active in West Bengal which help fugitives and criminals from Bangladesh and other countries, including Rohingyas from Myanmar in obtaining Aadhar Card as well as Indian passport.

Anwarul Azim Anar, a three-time MP of the ruling Awami League in Bangladesh visited West Bengal in India for “medical treatment” while he was lured to a rented posh flat in New Town area of Kolkata. A woman named Shilasti Rahman was used as bait to carry out grisly murder.

Several Bangladeshi nationals, including a few who illegally entered India took part in this gruesome incident, while the leader of this crime was an individual named Amanullah Aman – a notorious terrorist from Bangladesh who too entered West Bengal by illegally crossing the border.

Dhaka-based Bangla daily Jugantor in its report said, flat number 56 of BU block of Sanjiba Garden, an elite residence in Newtown, Kolkata was rented out by its owner – who is an officer of West Bengal’s excise department for 11 months to Bangladeshi national and mastermind of the murder named – Mohammad Akhtaruzzaman Shahin.

During interrogation, Shilasthi Rahman – the woman who was used for honey-trapping the Bangladeshi lawmaker said, while Anwarul Azim Anar was in the Sanjiba Garden apartment, he was forced to make a call to his friend Gopal Biswas, who hails from North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal asking Indian rupees 420,000 in cash.

But Shilasthi is yet to reveal how this amount was taken or if it was delivered by Gopal Biswas himself. There are dozens of questions in the mind of the investigators – although they do not know most of the answers.

Will Mamata Banerjee speak out

Under such circumstances, as an investigative journalist it is my responsibility to ask several questions with the hope, West Bengal’s chief minister and top boss of Trinamool Congress, Mamata Banerjee shall give replies:

1.The flat number 56 of BU block of Sanjiba Garden, an elite residence in Newtown, Kolkata was rented-out by its owner to a Bangladeshi national, who does not have legal status for hiring any property in India. Defying this law, how this apartment was rented-out?

2.According to media reports, this elite apartment is owned by an officer of West Bengal’s excise department, although his name is still unreported. My question here are – how this government official amassed such property, what is his annual income, does he own more of such assets in West Bengal, and how much tax he pays every year?

3.Media reports said, killers of the MP used a red-color vehicle. Have details of this vehicle, including registration number, name of the owner etcetera been already collected by the investigating agency in Kolkata?

4.As the media report said, MP Anar was forced to make a call to his friend Gopal Biswas, who hails from North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal asking Indian rupees 420,000 in cash, can we ask – whether Gopal Biswas was a cashier of the slain lawmaker? Has he been interrogated by the Kolkata Police to know further details of his actual relations with Anwarul Azim Anar and why Biswas was keeping such a large amount of cash at home? Has it become a common practice in West Bengal of keeping large amounts of cash out of the bank?

5.Back in 2020, one of the killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was arrested. Media reports said, the killer named Risaldar Moslem Uddin was arrested from North 24 Parganas in West Bengal after he succeeded in staying in West Bengal for more than 45 years. According to report by Anandabazar Patrika – a Kolkata-based media, Moslem was living in Thakurnagar area of North 24 Parganas. He was running a traditional herbal medicine shop there, identifying himself as Dr Dutta.

I would also like to ask Ms. Banerjee – why her government is allowing wanted terrorists from Bangladesh, along with extortionists, gangsters, contract-killers, smugglers and fugitives in living in West Bengal and by getting hold of Aadhar Card and Indian passport?

6. In my previous article I have stated, several influential leaders of TMC were having business relations with Anar, while a large portion of cash from the infamous SSC scam was sent to him for investing in businesses. Anar was connected to Partha Chatterjee through his nephew Prasanna Kumar Roy’s friend Shipan Kumer Basu. Basu, wanted by Bangladesh Police, has been living in West Bengal for almost two decades.

7. During his early life, Shipan Kumer Basu was an active member of ‘Purbo Bangla Communist Party’, an extremist Marxist-Naxalite group in Bangladesh. During those years, Shipan Kumer Basu has taken part in numerous forms of criminal activities including robbery, rape, extortion and murder. Later, Basu became a member of Anwarul Azim Anar’s transborder smuggling racket. Are Kolkata Police putting emphasis also on this matter?

It may be mentioned here that, according to media reports, there are several organized rackets active in West Bengal which help fugitives and criminals from Bangladesh and other countries, including Rohingyas from Myanmar in obtaining Aadhar Card as well as Indian passport. Later, these criminals, mostly wanted by law enforcement agencies, leave India for Dubai or other Western countries using Indian passports.

West Bengal as ‘safe haven’ for criminals

Earlier it was also reported that another killer of Bangabandhu, Abdul Majed was also arrested from West Bengal after many years. When it was obvious that Awami League would win the national election on June 12, 1996, Majed fled Bangladesh along with Dalim and Rashid. He first went to India at the time, then went on to Pakistan and from there to Libya. He later came back to India, though it is not ascertained when he began residing in India permanently.

Abdul Majed managed to get an Indian voter ID card in 2012 while in Kolkata. In 2017 he got an Indian passport. He used the name Ahmed Ali in the passport. The passport was valid up till 2027. Majed’s birthplace in the passport was recorded as Howrah, Kolkata. He was actually born in Borhanduddin, Bhola.

Majed got married for the second time while in Kolkata. After he went missing from Kolkata on 22 February, 2020 his wife Zarina Begum filed a general diary (GD) at the Park Street police station. While investigating this matter, the police found a bag in Majed’s house in which there was a passport, ration cards and other documents.

There was a photograph of a woman and three children in the bag too. The police suspect the woman in the photograph was Majed’s wife in Bangladesh, Saleha Begum. Majed’s wife in Park Street told the police that Majed never let anyone touch this bag. Whenever he came home, he would lock the gate from inside. He was known in Park Street as an English teacher Ali Ahmed. The local people thought he had graduated from St Xavier’s College. He would teach English at people’s houses and also was a money-lender. He lived in a rented house in Park Street but had made a Tk 2.5 million down payment on a flat in Taltola.

In February 2022, the West Bengal CID arrested a Bangladeshi terrorist named Noor Nabi Maxon, who was living in Madhyamgram area in 24 Parganas district in West Bengal by using a fake name as Tamal Chowdhury. Maxon – wanted in 17 cases including murder entered West Bengal in 2019. In Kolkata, he was running fish trade at New Market.

Most alarming fact is – Kolkata Police was compelled to arrest Maxon when Bangladeshi law enforcement agencies provided them details of Noor Nabi Maxon and requested to arrest this criminal. In March 2015, another top-terrorist from Bangladesh namely Mollah Masud was arrested by West Bengal police from Barrackpore under the North 24 Parganas district – again following a request from the Bangladesh side.

In May 2007, Kolkata Police arrested absconding Bangladeshi top terrorist Tanvirul Islam Joy. In October 2008, another top-terrorist from Bangladesh named Subrat Bayen – wanted by Interpol was arrested by West Bengal police from Karaya.

These are mere tips of the iceberg. According to law enforcement agency sources, there are at least 45 terrorists from Bangladesh living in West Bengal and continuing criminal and terrorist activities. It said, dozens of the members of Islamist militancy outfits such as Ansar Al Islam – local franchise of Al Qaeda also are using West Bengal as a safe haven.

There also is an allegation that in West Bengal, Bangladeshi gangsters, terrorists, smugglers, money-launderers and fugitives are investing significant amounts of cash in the stock exchange through third-parties.

Several Bangladeshi businessmen, including film producers are operating offices in Kolkata as cover for running money-laundering activities. These people, particularly film producers maintain deeper-links with influential leaders of Trinamool Congress (TMC) including several male and female members of Tollygunge film industry. Has Kolkata Police or law enforcement agencies in West Bengal ever investigated these matters?

Conclusion

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee owes a response to my questions if she believes – she or any of the leaders and members of her administration, including her Trinamool Congress are not linked to any sort of criminal activities and allegations brought in this article as well as my previous articles are false.

Although it is well-anticipated that Mamata Banerjee or any of the leaders and members of TMC shall not address these questions, as they fear – publication of further investigative reports on these issues actually shall result in opening of the tin filled with worms.

Mamata Banerjee would follow the rogue culture of denial to avoid being branded as godmother of crimes. In this case – I would like to say – her silence will compel me in further exposing much more details and bitterest fact.


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Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is an internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, writer, research scholar, and counterterrorism specialist. He regularly writes for local and international newspapers.

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