Tripura Police has arrested a suspected Bangladeshi Army officer who crossed into Indian territory under a pseudonym. Police said that Raju Choudhary’s real name was Azam Khan, who was a commander of Bangladesh Army. Choudhury was produced before the court of West Tripura additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Sarbajit Choudhury on Thursday, who granted him bail.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Sadar sub-divisional police officer Suman Majumder said Choudhury was arrested Wednesday evening from Akhaura Road based on a tip-off. Majumder said Choudhury admitted during preliminary interrogation that he worked with Bangladesh Army but deserted it during his training.
“He has admitted that he is a Bangladeshi citizen and used to work for the Bangladesh Army. He deserted the Army during his training and crossed the international border into Tripura. He was detained based on a tip-off last evening,” the SDPO said.
A senior officer from state police headquarters said the detainee was a government contractor who did all plumbing works at the Chief Minister’s official residence during its renovation earlier this year.
Choudhury, who has married an Indian woman and has a child, was also awarded plumbing contracts at other important government buildings like the Governor’s House, Gobind Ballabh Pant (GBP) Hospital, which is the main referral hospital of Tripura. “We are investigating whether he was involved in any sort of espionage,” SDPO Majumder said.
Choudhury’s counsel Mrinal Kanti Biswas has, however, denied that his client was a Bangladeshi national and said his father was registered in Indian documents way back in 1957. Raju is already facing trial at the Tripura High Court over allegations of domestic violence lodged by his wife Nasima Khatun.
“High Court judge Arindam Lodh said during the last hearing over the domestic violence case that he believed Raju to be an Indian citizen based on prima facie evidence. The evidence includes his EPIC card, Aadhar card, PAN card, permanent residence certificates – all genuine documents,” Biswas said.
Public prosecutor Bidyut Sutradhar, who moved the case against Choudhury in the court on Thursday, was unavailable for his comments.
In May, 24 Bangladeshi youths were arrested from Agartala Railway station as terror suspects. They were quizzed by two teams of CBI officials, who suspected they had links with Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).
In 2010, two suspected ISI operatives were arrested near the Indo-Bangla international border in Sipahijala and South Tripura districts. Tripura shares an 856 Km long international border with Bangladesh, few patches of which are still unfenced.