Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has dominated the country's political landscape for more than a decade.Reuters

Indian police have arrested a 36-year-old woman on suspicion of being involved in an Islamist plot to assassinate Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a coup.

Pallab Bhattacharjee, additional director general of police in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam, said the woman was also charged with collecting arms with the intention of waging war against India.

"She has been arrested by the special operations unit of the Assam police and will be produced in court today," he said.

The arrest comes days after Indian intelligence authorities revealed that they had uncovered a plot by members of the Islamist militant group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen to kill Sheikh Hasina.

The group, which is accused of carrying out numerous attacks in Bangladesh, also allegedly planned to assassinate the country's main opposition leader Khaleda Zia, Indian officials said. Both Hasina and Zia have dominated Bangladesh's political landscape for more than 10 years.

A senior interior ministry official in New Delhi quoted in Reuters said: "The strategy was to hit the political leaders of the country and demolish the democratic infrastructure of Bangladesh. This was all being planned on Indian soil and we could have been blamed if there was an attack."

The alleged assassination plot was uncovered after two members of the banned Islamist group were killed in an explosion in October while building homemade bombs at a house in West Bengal, eastern India.

Indian police said the militants were Bangladeshis and used India as a safe haven in which to mastermind the planned attack.

Intelligence officials recently uncovered a similar terrorist plot to assassinate Hasina after interrogating a detained militant belonging to the Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami group.

Bangladesh, which is predominantly Muslim, has suffered three major army coups and two dozen smaller rebellions since gaining independence from Pakistan in 1971.