Bangladesh Rifles assures action against militants

April 8th, 2008 - 5:32 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) Bangladesh will not allow any part of its territory to be used for anti-India activities, a top official of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) assured here Tuesday. India has repeatedly said crime syndicates and terror outfits operate from Bangladesh. “Any territory can be used be used by terrorists or criminals, but what I wish to state here emphatically (is) that we will not allow Bangladesh territory to be used by individuals or groups against India,” BDR Major General Shakil Ahmed told reporters at the India-Bangladesh border coordination conference between BDR and their Indian counterpart Border Security Force (BSF).

“Every country finds out from various sources about terrorists and criminals operating on other lands. We have exchanged the list of terror organisations and each side will now verify it,” said Ahmed.

“The criminals don’t always stay at the same place. We are trying to evolve strategies as quickly as they (anti-nationals) evolve, I think if we (BDR-BSF) can cooperate, we can achieve much more border management.”

Indian security and intelligence officials have long been saying that Bangladeshi territory is used by militants of Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI) and Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to carry out anti-national activities in India in connivance with Pakistan-based militants.

“A strong nexus emerged between Pakistan-based terror outfits like Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) with HuJI and JMB of Bangladesh,” A.K. Mitra, director general of the BSF, had told IANS.

“We have authentic reports that militants are using Bangladeshi territory for entering India clandestinely through porous borders and have information about their involvement in terrorist activities in India.”

The investigating agencies are also suspecting HuJi’s hand in several terror blasts including last year’s serial blasts in three Uttar Pradesh courts killing at least a dozen people.

The five-day conference that commenced at the BSF headquarter in Delhi Tuesday is expected to address some key issues pertaining to both sides.

According to officials in the BSF, bilateral issues of mutual interest such as influx of Bangladesh nationals into India, obstruction of development works within 150 yards from international border, smuggling of cattle, weapons and narcotics will be raised during the conference.

“Indian insurgent groups in Bangladesh, inadvertent or advertent crossing of international border by BDR personnel and Bangladeshi nationals will be the key issues this time,” said a senior official.

Sources said BDR officials raised the issue of killing and injuring of innocent Bangladeshi nationals by BSF and Indian citizens.

“Trespassing on Bangladesh territory, pushing civilians including women, children inside the country and smuggling of arms, ammunition, explosives and narcotics are some other key issues,” an official said.

India shares a 4,095.7 km border - 2,979 km on land and 1,116 km through rivers - with Bangladesh. Only 66 percent of the land border is fenced.

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