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Dismantle camps of NE militants: BSF to tell B’desh
Published on 5 Nov. 2009 1:03 AM IST
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India’s Border Security Force (BSF) will ask its Bangladesh counterparts to dismantle around 90 camps and hideouts set up by northeastern Indian militants on their territory, officials said here Wednesday. A four-day meeting between senior officials of BSF and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), that began Wednesday in Sylhet in eastern Bangladesh, will also seek to adopt strategies to jointly tackle infiltration, border crimes and other border related problems. “Though BDR and Bangladeshi security forces have of late taken some action against the Indian militants taking shelter in their territory, there are about 90 camps existing in Chittagong Hill Tracts of southeast Bangladesh and Sylhet besides other regions,” a BSF official told newspersons before leaving for Bangladesh. “Basically, terrorist outfits belonging to Assam, Manipur and Tripura have some permanent and some transit camps in Bangladeshi soil adjoining India,” the official said on condition of anonymity. The Sylhet meeting is being held ahead of the director general-level talks between the border forces of India and Bangladesh. BSF’s Tripura frontier Inspector General S.K. Mishra is leading the 17-member Indian side, which also includes the IGs of the Assam-Meghalaya and Mizoram-Cachar frontiers. An official from the union home ministry is also part of the Indian team. The Bangladesh side will be headed by the deputy director general (DDG) of BDR. “The BSF, during the meeting, would also raise the issue of illegal poaching of wild animals and natural resources along the border areas by Bangladeshi elements,” the official added. Also on the BSF agenda would be obstruction by the BDR to different developmental projects and works undertaken by India along the border area, illegal movement along the border by Bangladeshis and illegal grazing of Bangladeshi cattle on the Indian side. Meanwhile, India has sped up efforts to complete construction of fencing along the frontier with Bangladesh by 2013, and 500 new border outposts would be set up. Currently, over 70 BSF battalions are deployed along the India-Bangladesh border as well as for counter-insurgency operations in the northeast. To maintain effective vigil along the frontier with Bangladesh, the distance between two border outposts would be reduced from the present 4.5 km to 2.8 km, keeping in mind the topography of the region. Five Indian states - West Bengal, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Assam and Tripura - share a 4,095 km border with Bangladesh. These include a 2,979 km land border and 1,116 km riverine. Among the states, Tripura shares 856 km, Meghalaya 443 km, Mizoram 318 km and Assam 263 km border with Bangladesh.

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