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Bengal, Centre together in fight against terrorism: Home Ministry

Bengal, Centre together in fight against terrorism: Home Ministry

Kolkata: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval Monday discussed the Oct 2 Burdwan blast with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who promised full cooperation in solving the case in which militant outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) is purportedly involved.

A union home ministry official said the Centre has taken the matter "very seriously" and would take the case to its logical end. He also denied that the state agencies were not cooperating with the investigation.

Doval - accompanied by National Security Guard (NSG) chief J.N. Choudhury and National Investigation Agency (NIA) Director General Sharad Kumar - inspected the blast site and later called on Banerjee at the state secretariat Nabanna.

Briefing media persons after the meeting with Banerjee, Prakash Mishra, special secretary of internal security at union home ministry, asserted that Doval's visit was aimed at giving a professional touch to the investigation, and said the Bengal government has assured full cooperation.

"The government of India has taken the case very seriously. That is why the NSA, a professional police officer who has dealt with terror case in the past, has been sent to give a professional touch to the case.

"We met the chief minister and discussed the issue with her. We are happy to say that the CM and the West Bengal government have assured that the Centre and the state will work together in unearthing the entire case and take all kinds of action to see that such cases are investigated properly and prevented in future," Mishra said.

He said the state government has pledged support towards the fight against terrorism and asserted that the case will be brought to a logical end.

"We all go with that assurance that the state and the Centre are together in this fight against terror and this case will be taken to its logical end. We have the full cooperation of the police of Bengal and all other agencies working here," he said.

Mishra said the centre will work towards improving the capacity of the state and the central agencies involved in the case.

Denying any non-cooperation by state investigating agencies, Doval said: "We have resolved to work together and investigate the case."

The visit by the country's top security and intelligence brass comes days after NIA chief Sharad Kumar's Oct 24 visit to Burdwan's Khagragarh where the blast took place inside a house killing two JMB militants and injuring another.

The Banerjee government had vehemently opposed an NIA probe, prompting the BJP and the Left Front to allege that the ruling Trinamool Congress has "terror links".

However, the union home ministry Oct 9 directed the central agency to take over the probe.

Besides the arrest of six people in Bengal, six others were held in Assam for their involvement. The NIA is also probing the link between the Burdwan blast and a bank robbery in Telangana's Karimnagar.

NIA officials earlier in the month visited Choppadandi village in Karimnagar district, where four armed men looted Rs.46 lakh from a State Bank of India (SBI) branch in February.

The agency is also mulling announcing cash rewards for any information leading to the arrest of the absconding accused in the case, which include JMB members from Bangladesh.

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