Kolkata, Dec 14 (IANS) The NIA on Monday filed its second supplementary chargesheet in the Burdwan blast case, slapping fresh charges against 28 accused for waging war against Bangladesh — an Asiatic power which is in alliance and peace with India.
The chargesheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing the October 2, 2014, accidental blast in Burdwan’s Khagragarh alleged that the “accused people were associated with each other and hatched a conspiracy to establish Sharia law in Bangladesh by toppling democratically elected government”.
The charge was brought under section 125 of the Indian Penal Code that deals with those “waging war against the government of any Asiatic power in alliance or at peace with the government of India or attempts to wage such war, or abets the waging of such war”, NIA counsel Shyamal Kumar Ghosh told IANS.
It carries a maximum punishment of life imprisonment, besides a fine.
The fresh charges include forgery under section 468 and using forged documents as genuine under section 471, respectively of the IPC.
“The NIA has till date brought charges against 28 people including Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) member and a key co-conspirator Nurul Hoque alias Naeem. Eighteen of the accused are behind bars,” said Ghosh.
The NIA had arrested Hoque on June 18 from near the Howrah railway station.
The chargesheet alleges that Naeem — a resident of Domkal in Murshidabad district and fund collector for the JMB — had gone to Bangladesh and taken training in bomb manufacturing.
The NIA had filed its first chargsheet in the case before a designated special court on March 30, naming 21 people including four Bangladeshi nationals, for their involvement in the JMB conspiracy to overthrow the existing democratic government in Bangladesh through violent terrorist acts and replace it with a hard-line Sharia based Islamic rule.
It lodged a supplementary chargesheet on July 23 against six accused — including one Bangladeshi national — for their involvement in the JMB conspiracy.
The accidental blast took place inside a house in Khagragarh, killing two JMB militants and injuring another.
Taking up the probe on October 10, the NIA has arraigned 32 people as accused in the case, several of whom are absconding.
The NIA claimed that its probe, spread over a number of states, revealed that the JMB has established its network in India primarily in the states of West Bengal, Assam and Jharkhand.
Its activities in India primarily included recruitment, radicalisation and training of vulnerable youths in a systematic and organised manner.
The JMB operated a network of terrorist training camps at selected madrassas and hideouts where selected youths were indoctrinated into “the violent jihadi ideology as well as trained for violent action by using explosives and firearms”, the NIA said.
The first supplementary chargesheet had individually charged the accused for commission of various criminal offences under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, as well as the Explosive Substances Act.
The offences include membership of a terrorist gang, conspiracy for terrorist acts, and acts towards recruitment, funding of terrorist gang, organising terrorist training camps and possession of explosive substances.