Bangladesh, India cooperate on exchange of militants, criminals

October 21st, 2008 - 2:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Oct 21 (IANS) Bangladesh has killed 10 suspected Indian militants and extradited 11 between June and August this year and is processing several more cases as part of mutual confidence building between the South Asian neighbours, an official has said. “We have handed over 11 suspected insurgents between June 12 and Aug 22 this year as part of our policy to fight cross-border terrorism and crimes despite the absence of any extradition treaty between the two neighbours,” a senior security official said on condition of anonymity.

He said the law enforcing agencies arrested more than 120 suspected Indian criminals and insurgents since 2003 and many of them returned home after completing their jail terms.

Officials said 10 alleged operatives of the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) banned by India were killed in an encounter with the Rapid Action Batallion (RAB), the anti-crime elite force, as they infiltrated into Bangladesh territory.

The official was speaking to BSS, the official news agency. India has accused Bangladesh of hosting separatist elements and allowing them to operate from its soil. Dhaka has denied the charges.

The operations by Indian militants were high during the regime of then prime minister Khaleda Zia (2001-06). But the present caretaker government of Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed has been cooperative, despite continuing the denial mode.

Bangladesh and India agreed on “expeditious” return of criminals staying in either of the countries when home secretaries of the two countries ended a two-day annual meeting in Dhaka Aug 31, The Daily Star said.

Both sides also agreed to “continue efforts” to track down criminals who took shelter in either country to evade justice and send them back “expeditiously”. Dhaka has also sought India’s cooperation to take preventive measures against anti-Bangladesh outfits based on its territory.

Bangladesh handed over an updated list of 1,648 Bangladeshi criminals hiding in India while the Indian side gave a list of 464 Indian criminals during the director general level talks between the Bangladesh Rifles and Border Security Forces (BSF) of India ahead of the secretary level meeting.

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