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Dismantle militant camps, BSF to urge Bangladesh

IANS  Agartala, December 08, 2011
First Published: 14:08 IST(8/12/2011) | Last Updated: 14:10 IST(8/12/2011)

The Border Security Force (BSF) will ask its Bangladesh counterparts at a meeting next week to dismantle hideouts set up by militants from India's northeast in the neighbouring country, officials said in Agartala on Thursday.


A meeting between senior officials of BSF and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) will be held in Meghalaya capital Shillong Dec 12-15 to adopt strategies to jointly tackle terrorism, infiltration, border crimes and other border related problems.

"Though BGB and Bangladeshi security forces have already taken some action against the Indian militants taking shelter in their territory, there are over 50 camps (of northeast terrorists) in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of southeast Bangladesh and Sylhet besides other regions," a BSF official told reporters in Agartala.

"Mostly, separatist outfits belonging to Assam, Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya have some permanent and some transit camps on Bangladeshi soil adjoining India," the official said on condition of anonymity.

"BSF officials will also ask its Bangladesh counterparts to hand over militants from India's northeast and convicted Indian nationals hiding in their territory."

"Following the crackdown against Indian militants by Bangladesh security forces, a large number of militants of different outfits have taken shelter in neighbouring Myanmar."

BSF's Inspector General (IG headquarters) SK Mishra will lead the Indian side. The Bangladesh side will be headed by the deputy director general (DDG) of BGB Brigadier General Abu Sayeed Khan.

The official said the smuggling of drugs and circulation of fake Indian currency through the border are the other major problems.

"The BSF troopers have seized 333,520 bottles of Phensidyl and a large quantity of ganja (marijuana) during the past 22 months while being smuggle to Bangladesh through the India-Bangladesh border with Tripura alone," the paramilitary official said.

India-made Phensidyl, a cough syrup, is banned in Bangladesh as many people, specially youths, taking it as a recreational narcotic.

Four northeastern states - Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam - share a 1,880-km border with Bangladesh. The dense forests, mountainous terrain, unfenced and other hitches make the borders porous and vulnerable.

"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.

Meanwhile, India has speed 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 for security 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 is likely to be reduced from the present 4.5 km to 2.8 km.

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