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Hand over separatists; BSF to B’desh
Published on 9 Nov. 2009 1:02 AM IST
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The Border Security Force (BSF) has asked its Bangladesh counterparts to hand over militants from India’s northeast and convicted Indian nationals hiding in their territory, a BSF spokesman said here Sunday. “We have requested top officials of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) to hand over militants from the northeast and their leaders taking shelter in Bangladesh to Indian authorities,” the spokesman told newsmen after the four-day meeting between senior officials of BSF and BDR. The meeting, held in Sylhet in eastern Bangladesh from Wednesday to Saturday, has also finalised strategies to jointly tackle infiltration, trans-border crimes, prevention of smuggling of cattle, drugs, narcotics, fake Indian currency notes and other crimes. “The BSF officials have also asked the BDR commanders to take appropriate action to stop poaching of wild animals and exploiting natural resources along the border,” the spokesman added. A large number of developmental projects including river embankments, bridges, irrigation projects, market sheds and drinking water sources along the India-Bangladesh border have remained half-done for a long time after objections raised by the BDR, citing the 1975 India-Bangladesh 1975 agreement. However, the pact had barred only defence construction on either side of the Indo-Bangla border. “We (BSF) have also asked the BDR to allow Indian authorities to complete those unfinished developmental projects,” the spokesman added. BSF has also asked its Bangladesh counterparts to dismantle around 90 camps and hideouts set up by northeastern Indian militants on their territory. “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 or hide outs existing in Chittagong Hill Tracts of southeast Bangladesh and Sylhet besides other regions,” the BSF official added. The Sylhet meeting was held ahead of the director general-level talks between the border forces of India and Bangladesh. BSF’s Inspector General (Tripura frontier) S.K. Mishra led a 17-member Indian delegation, which also included the IGs of the Assam-Meghalaya and Mizoram-Cachar frontiers. An official from the central home ministry was also part of the Indian team. The Bangladesh side was headed by the BDR’s Deputy Director General, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Obaidul Haque. BDR sector commanaders of Chittagong, Sylhet, Rangamati, Comilla, Khagrachari and Mymensingh also attended the meeting. Later, the BSF officials also met BDR chief Maj. Gen. Mainul Islam in Dhaka and discussed diverse border security related matters. 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 northeastern states, Tripura shares 856 km, Meghalaya 443 km, Mizoram 318 km and Assam 263 km border with Bangladesh.

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