Other States

AIUDF refutes links with Bangladesh jihadi groups

The principal opposition party in Assam, the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) president Maulana Badruddin Ajmal on Wednesday denied reports in a section of media that an intelligence report has alleged that the AIUDF and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind have been selecting Muslim youth in Assam and sending them to Bangladesh for undergoing training in Jihad.

Addressing a press conference Maulana Ajmal described the media reports as “false and baseless” and challenged a Delhi-based private television news channel, which he said, first telecast the news to prove the authenticity of the “intelligence report” or face legal action. “I have doubt over the authenticity of the report which does not bear any official stamp or signature or name of any ministry,” he said displaying a copy of a page the report, which he claimed was shown in different news channels. He said that apart from maligning the image of the party the news could also adversely affect the business of his family. Maulana Ajmal’s family has been running a perfume business across several countries for past six decades.

Alleging that a political conspiracy had been hatched to malign the image of the AIUDF, Maulana Ajmal demanded a probe at the highest level to establish the truth. “We are ready to face any action if the probe reveals anything against us,” he said. The AIUDF chief alleged that political forces which were wary of the growing popularity of his party could be behind such a conspiracy.

The AIUDF with 18 MLAs is the largest opposition party in 126-member Assam Assembly.

Senior AIUDF legislator and general secretary of the State unit of the Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind Hafiz Bashir Ahmed, who was present at the press conference, also refuted the reports and said that Jamiat is known for its patriotic role in India’s freedom struggle and has always been taking a strong stand against terrorism. Maulana Ajmal is also the president of the State unit of the Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind. The AIUDF president who is also the party’s sitting MP from Dhubri Lok Sabha constituency said he would lead a delegation of eight party MLAs to Delhi on Thursday to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to press for the probe.

Maulana Ajmal said he had sought appointment with the Prime Minister. He also said Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had told journalists in Delhi that the State Government had no report or evidence of AIUDF having any link with jihadis. He said that his party had been relentlessly demanding sealing of India-Bangladesh border to curb infiltration and had always been taking a strong stand against terrorism. “We are fully with the government in taking action against anyone involved in terror activities. If it is a genuine intelligence report then why it was leaked instead of taking action. The leakage of such secret report would only alert those involved in terror activities,” he added.

The Asom Gana Parishad and the Bharatiya Janata Party have demanded a high level probe into the allegations of AIUDF’s links with Jihadi elements in Bangladesh. “If this is true then it is a serious matter,” said senior BJP leader and party’s MP from Gauhati Lok Sabha constituency Bijoya Chakravarty. She, however, said that personally she does not think that Maulana Ajmal would have done such a thing and therefore a thorough probe should be instituted by the Central government and take action accordingly. The BJP leader, however, blamed the Congress government in the State for rise in activities of Jihadi elements in the state and alleged that Assam was being used a corridor by Bangladesh-based Jihadi elements for supply of illegal arms and narcotics.

Activists of BJP, Bajrang Dal, Viswa Hindu Parishad burnt effigies of Maulana Ajmal and took out processions in different parts of the State demanding action against the AIUDF president and his party for alleged terror link.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 1:24:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/aiudf-refutes-links-with-bangladesh-jihadi-groups/article6547627.ece

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