KOLKATA: India is keeping a close watch on the political developments during the Bangladesh polls as around 25 Jamaat leaders are contesting the polls on Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) ticket and 20 from constituencies close to the Bengal border. Most of these constituencies are within 100km from the Bengal border, while two others are fighting from Commila, located close to Tripura border and two Jamaat-Ul Mujahideen Bangaladesh (JMB) leaders are from Shyllet, which is adjoining Assam and is now plagued with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) issue.
Sources said that the maximum concentration of the Jamaat leaders are found within a range of 50-100km from the Bengal border. The son of a top JMB leader Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, who is now serving life term as a war criminal, is contesting from Pirojpur which is barely 160km from Kolkata.
Thus, the reason behind fielding JMB candidates close to the Bengal border is considered significant by India. The Bangladesh government has already informed Delhi that there are support groups for JMB in Bengal and they are helping in cattle smuggling and running arms racket and involved gold smuggling. Some local political leaders in the border areas of Bengal are helping people associated with the JMB in lieu of money, according to the reports sent by Dhaka.
It is already proven that JMB has bases in Bengal and adjoining states as several of its activists were arrested after the Khagragarh blast in Burdwan in October 2014. NIA in its chargesheet in the Khagragarh blast case had mentioned that JMB men carried out subversive activities in Bengal and were collecting funds and recruiting youths into the fold of JMB and were training them to wage war in a neighbouring country.
Even Dhaka has sent a dossier to Delhi about JMB and how it is increasing its presence in Bengal as many of them have taken shelter in Bengal. Moreover, there are hints that the JMB might try to create violence during the polls in Bangladesh. For which security along the border is going to be tightened, so JMB leaders or their support group do not manage to sneak in after creating violence.
However, officially the spokesman of the Indian foreign office Raveesh Kumar has described the election in Bangladesh to be an internal matter of Bangladesh. As an Islamic terror group, JMB has been banned from contesting the polls by the Bangladesh election commission. For which many of them are contesting as independent candidates or on BNP symbol. The JMB is now having a seat adjustment with BNP. Initially there were talks for 45 seats in favour of JMB candidates, now 25 of them are going to contest on BNP symbol, according to inputs sent to Delhi. So Indian agencies are keeping track on the constituencies from which the JMB leaders are contesting as most of them are on the border except one in Dhaka.