BHUBANESWAR: The visit of arrested Al Qaeda terrorist suspect Abdul Rehman to state secretariat in October this year has sparked a political row in Odisha with opposition Congress and BJP on Thursday accusing the ruling BJD of having links with the terrorist suspect arrested last week in Cuttack.
Rehman, a member of Al Qaeda in India Subcontinent (AQIS), had visited the health and the school and mass education departments at the Secretariat on October 7 after getting an entry pass issued to him.
The leader of opposition Narasingh Mishra demanded a high level free and fair probe to unearth the link of BJD leaders with the Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) terrorist.
“If police claim that he was under watch, how could it be possible to get a pass for the state secretariat and meeting ministers and secretaries? This needs to be probed thoroughly, said Mishra.
He said Rehman’s visit to Secretariat gives credence that he has a good rapport with the ruling BJD and that there might be many others like him involved in spreading their tentacles in Odisha.
Senior BJP leader Pratap Sarangi said the terrorist had relation with some BJD MLAs in the state.
“It came to know that some BJD MLAs have the relationship with the terrorist unless how he can get a secretariat pass. How did he get a passport? All these need to be probed,” said Sarangi.
However, School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra denied of meeting Rehman and said he came to know about availing secretariat pass by Rehman from the media reports.
“If he had come to the state secretariat, it needs to be probed. His purpose of the visit would also be probed,” said Mishra.
It is to be noted that Tahir Ali Khan, brother of arrested Al Qaeda terror suspect, had earlier stated that arrest of his brother is aimed at defaming Odisha and the ruling BJD, while pleading innocence of his brother.