In a worrying development, the Kolkata Police’s Special Task Force (STF) said on Monday that at least 15 terrorists belonging to the Bangladesh-based Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) are believed to have infiltrated into the country.

An STF officer said the JMB operatives likely entered West Bengal from Bangladesh earlier this year. Ten of these operatives are thought to have travelled to various parts of India, including Jammu and Kashmir, the officer added. Of the remaining five who stayed put in West Bengal, the STF nabbed three of them on Sunday. All three are Bangladeshi nationals and they were picked up from South Kolkata’s Haridevpur area.

When the STF interrogated the three nabbed terrorists, it came to light that the 10 JMB operatives who had left West Bengal are believed to have travelled to Odisha, Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir.

The STF is, meanwhile, on the lookout for Sheikh Sakil and Salim Munshi – the other two JMB terrorists who had stayed back in West Bengal along with the three arrested operatives.

“Sakil had helped them (the three others) in preparing fake Aadhaar cards which they had used to get accommodation on rent in Haridevpur. The three came to India following the instructions of senior JMB leader Al Ameen,” he said.

The arrested three, who were yesterday remanded to 14 days’ police custody, have been identified as Najiur Rahman, Rabiul Islam and Sabir. Ever since coming to West Bengal from Bangladesh, the three were selling fruits and mosquito curtains to earn a living.

The STF is in touch with the Bangladesh Police to find out more details about the arrested terrorists and the landlord of the two houses where the three had stayed in Haridevpur has also been questioned.

The STF officer said they are trying to find out how the landlord came to know these persons.

Yesterday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) also began its initial probe into the matter.

“We have started gathering information about them and are trying to find out who else are associated with them. We are at a very initial stage,” an NIA officer was quoted as saying in a PTI report.

It has been reported that the STF seized several documents, including jihadi materials, lists of top JMB leaders and their associates in other terror groups from the possession of arrested JMB operatives.

To recall, the JMB was responsible for the terror attack at a popular cafe in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka in 2016 in which 22 people, including 17 foreigners, were killed. The NIA had warned in 2019 that the JMB was attempting to spread its tentacles in India.