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Five Bodo separatists arrested in Bangladesh

Five Bodo separatists have been arrested from the wooded hills of Khagrachhari in Bangladesh's Chittagong Hill Tracts, an apparent indication of the growing cooperation between the two neighbours in curbing militancy.

world Updated: Aug 18, 2009 11:26 IST

Five Bodo separatists have been arrested from the wooded hills of Khagrachhari in Bangladesh's Chittagong Hill Tracts, an apparent indication of the growing cooperation between the two neighbours in curbing militancy.

Bangladesh Army and police personnel in a joint drive on Monday arrested the five Indian nationals who they believe are members of the separatist National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) of Assam.

Detained in a hilly area of Dighinala upazila in Khagrachhari, they were identified as Oadhish Narzari, 35, Pabitra Gowari, 25, Dhiren Khakori, 25, Jonatha Basumothari, 35, and Pradep, 30, the Daily Star reported.

Al Mamun Suman of Dighinala army zone and sub-inspector Rafiqullah of Dighinala police station arrested them in connection with illegal entry to the country.

Quoting the NDFB separatists, Dighinala Police Station officer-in-charge Suvash Chandra Paul told the newspaper that they had entered Bangladesh through a border with Tripura.

Bangladesh and India have stepped up cooperation in the last two years. It was earlier confined to criminals and has been extended to militants this year.

India has been alleging that several militant groups, among them the Bodoland activists, Naga separatists and members of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), are using Bangladeshi soil to stage operations.

India is seeking custody of the top ULFA brass who live in Bangladesh, where they have families and businesses while their cadres carry out operations in Assam.

Dhaka, too, has been seeking to repatriate fugitives, both criminals and those who profess separatist causes.

It recently caught three Islamist militants that it says are Indian nationals, who were hiding in Bangladesh for several years and coordinating operations with Pakistan-based Laskhar-e-Taiba.