On 19 January 2014, Ahmed Hassan Imran was nominated to the Upper House of the Parliament by Trinamul Congress (TMC). This is the same Imran who had an important role to play in the communal carnage that plagued the Canning subdivision of West Bengal on 21 February 2013.
During this carnage, Muslim mobs burned down over 200 Hindu homes in the villages of Naliakhali, Herobhanga, Gopalpur and Goladogra villages in the Canning police station limits. Two dozen Hindu-owned shops were looted in the Jaynagar police limits under Baruipur subdivision. Incidents of violence were reported from Canning, Jaynagar, Kultali and Basanti police station areas.
Reproduced below is an important letter written to the Superintendent of the Police in South 24-Parganas, by one of the senior officers which narrates the involvement of Imran.
Besides being an inciter of violence, Imran is believed to be well acquainted with many anti-India Islamic fundamentalists who are based in Bangladesh.
Right after Imran was elected as Rajya Sabha MP, Pankaj Saran the Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh was reported to have sent an important dossier to the Government of India. The said dossier contained information regarding Imran’s contact with several anti-India groups which are said to be based in Bangladesh.
As this report from the Anandabazar Patrika states, sources from the Home Ministry have claimed that this is the first time that a sitting MP has been accused of something so sinister. According to the same sources, both the ministries of Home Affairs and External Affairs have notified the State government of West Bengal.
A Foreign Ministry official said the government pays heed to such serious reports that come from different officials and take effective measures as necessary:
‘We are paying attention to this report. The details have been shared between our embassy in Dhaka and the central government. The matter is being discussed among the top echelons of the government.’
Hassan Imran has denied these charges leveled against him stating ‘These unrealistic and false accusations are being made to malign my reputation.’ Imran further claimed that he never had contact with any radical anti-Indian, Islamic groups. However he also admitted, ‘I was indeed a member of SIMI from 1977 till 1984.’ The organization was not banned in India during that period.
Sources from the Ministry of External Affairs as mentioned in the Anandabazar Patrika report that the Indian embassy in Dhaka sent a classified dossier with detailed information about this TMC MP.
According to the dossier, Imran actually came to India in 1971 from Srihatta region of present day Bangladesh. Initially residing in the Dhubri district of Assam, he later shifted to the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal. Between 1975 and 1976, he founded and led the West Bengal Muslim Student Association.
The organization expanded rapidly under his leadership. The WBMSA was among the several Muslim student organizations which attended an important conference in Aligarh in 24 April 1977. It was after this conference that the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) was created with Ahmed Hasan Imran being made as the head of its West Bengal chapter, a post he retained for the next three years. SIMI was recognized as a terrorist organization and banned by the Indian Government in 2001.
Some Intelligence agencies widely believe that Indian Mujahideen (IM) is a reincarnation of SIMI while others say that the IM is the militant arm of SIMI. In any case, there is no short supply of evidence that SIMI and IM have been involved in major terror attacks against the Indian state in the last decade, including the deadly 26/11.
Mr. Saran’s dossier reveals that Imran presented himself as the head of SIMI’s West Bengal chapter even after the organization was banned by the government. Following the 9/11 terror attacks, the Government of India issued a ban order on SIMI to curb terror activities within the nation. The ban is still in place.
According to the dossier, a small house located in 19 Dargah Road of Kolkata’s Park Circus area was functioning as the SIMI office. It was from this office that SIMI launched its mouthpiece, ‘Kalam’ in 1981, and ran it as a monthly magazine till 1994. By then Imran had actively opened branches of SIMI all over the state. These activities made Imran an important and popular figure in the Islamic world.
The result was his appointment as a chief official of the Jeddah-sponsored Islamic Development Bank. The Managing director of this bank, Mamul-Al-Azam, son of Golam Azam, former chief and founder of Bangladesh’s radical Islamic organization Jamaat-E-Islami.
Right after Imran was appointed as the chief official of the Islamic Development Bank, SIMI’s monthly ‘Kalam’ began to be published as a weekly and in 1998 it became a daily newspaper.
At the same time, the SIMI office was shifted from Park Circus to 45 Eliot Road, which later became the unofficial residence of the SIMI cadres.
Interestingly, after turning Kalam into a daily, Imran came in contact with Sudipto Sen, prime accused in the multi-billion Saradha scam. It is believed that Imran was part of the Saradha scam where he acted as a link between the money launderers and the Jamaat and other Islamic fundamentalists in Bangladesh.
At the same time, Imran also acted as the Indian representative for ‘Naya Diganta’ the mouthpiece of Bangladesh’s Jamaat-E-Islami. His writings were published in that paper on a regular basis.
The High Commission report mentions that Imran was in constant touch with the Jamaat leaders who were accused and imprisoned by the Sheikh Hasina government on charges of being involved in war crimes.
These leaders included the likes of the same Golam Azam, apart from Motiur Rahman Nizami, Mir Kasim Ali, and Abdul Kader Mollah, who were also involved in carrying out anti-India activities in Bangladesh.
All of this neatly ties in with this revealing report by the New Indian Express:
The CBI and ED learnt that funds collected from the public through Saradha’s chit fund schemes were centrally deposited at the group’s offices in Salt Lake. After being accounted for, hundreds of crores were transported to various centres close to the Indo-Bangladesh border…..….Armed couriers of radical Islamic outfits would then smuggle the converted currency across the border under the cover of darkness…..The deal was that Sen would finance these radical outfits, mainly the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh….. The leaders of these outfits had to arrange for Sen’s funds to be sent to banks in Europe through their couriers …..……Former Special Director, Intelligence Bureau, Dhanesh Chandra Nath said, “We all know who this man is. It is unfortunate that West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee sent Ahmed Hassan alias Imran to the Rajya Sabha despite knowing his antecedents. When SIMI was banned in 2001, Mamata Banerjee was a Union minister and she should have known about its leader’s activities in West Bengal. What is of serious concern to us is the planned infiltration of the known subversive elements into the most sacred and highest corridors of power”……..An ED officer said, “We have concrete evidence against him. He was in charge of a Bengali daily financed by Saradha and was involved in financial transactions…..”
Given all this, it is incredible to believe that TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wouldn’t have done due diligence on Imran before putting him inside the Rajya Sabha. It is pretty clear that the charges Ahmed Imran faces are grave—inciting communal riots, money laundering and acting as a go-between to anti-India Islamic terrorists. Equally, it is also clear that Ahmed Hassan Imran poses a serious threat to national security.