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TMC MP ignores anti India allegations

It was alleged that Imran had links with a radical outfit.

SUSENJIT GUHA  Kolkata | 30th Aug 2014

Ahmed Hassan Imran

Former Left Front Housing Minister Gautam Deb had alleged at a press conference last May at Barasat near Kolkata that TMC's Rajya Sabha MP and journalist Ahmed Hassan Imran was a front man of the radical anti-India Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh (JIB).

The CPM leader had alleged that Imran had developed close connections with senior leaders of the radical outfit.

Imran was grilled by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) this week about his alleged financial transactions with the chit-fund-scam tainted Saradha group when his newspaper Daily Kalom was bought by the group, but ownership allegedly did not change hands.

Highlighting that Imran was the key member and past president of the banned outfit, Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), Deb had alleged that Imran knew Jamaat leaders who were facing trial or were sentenced to death by the Bangladesh government for war crimes committed during the final days of the 1971 Indo-Pak conflict. Deb added that the JIB has in the past criticised India for aiding the liberation of East Pakistan and wants to create mayhem inside India with the help of Pakistan's ISI.

Deb alleged that as the Indian counsellor of the Jeddah-based Islamic Bank, Imran had appropriated funds, worked as a correspondent for a pro-JIB newspaper in India and collected news for Radio Teheran's Bengali outlet, apart from running the Bengali newspaper Daily Kalom which was flagged off with much fanfare by state Chief Minister and Trinamool party chief Mamata Banerjee in 2012.

Deb expressed shock and wondered aloud about what compulsions the TMC battled with to elevate a man of Imran's reputation to the stature of an MP.

Imran had then threatened to sue Deb unless he could substantiate his damning allegations with proof, but he has not done so in the last four months.

When this newspaper asked Imran the reason for not contesting Deb's claims a day after he underwent ED's marathon round of questioning, a legal action was far from his mind.

"Yes, I should have," said Imran. "Why would I align with a force like JIB outside India?" he asked in retaliation. Allegations against Imran have been made by Dhanesh Chandra Nath — a former Intelligence Bureau special director — in a letter written in early August to the Prime Minister's Office, to the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

Nath said, "It is very unfortunate that in spite of his background, Ahmed Hassan Imran had managed to enter Parliament. Mamata Banerjee should have known as she was Union Minister when SIMI was banned in 2001."

Saradha's illegal money trail reportedly extends to the insurgents in the restive northeast as well. Kughalu Mulatonu of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) was apparently paid by the Saradha group after he was introduced to group head Sudipto Sen by an intermediary.

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