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After Pak, India gets tough with Bangladesh

India warned Bangladesh that it should stop allowing terrorist and insurgents to use its territor, reports Shekhar Iyer.

india Updated: Dec 16, 2008 00:16 IST
Shekhar Iyer
Shekhar Iyer
Hindustan Times

India on Monday warned Bangladesh that it should stop allowing terrorist and insurgents to use its territory. New Delhi’s warning came at the end of a debate in the Lok Sabha, where several MPs demanded that like Pakistan, Dhaka, too, should also be given an ultimatum in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks.

Home Minister P Chidambaram, who replied to the debate, said “The message must go to Bangladesh that it is duty-bound to stop terrorist activity on its soil. It cannot allow its territory to be a safe haven to the insurgent groups.” He said though Bangladesh had repeatedly assured that they would not allow Indian insurgent groups to use its territory, but many terrorists continue to live there.

“The Government of Bangladesh has a responsibility to control the HuJI (Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami). In the long run, Bangladesh is hurting itself (if it does not check terrorism).” Chidambaram listed tardy progress in border fencing and issuing national identity cards, illegal immigration from Bangladesh and perception about pervasive corruption as the areas of concern.

Chidambaram said the insurgency problem in the Northeast was “quite grave.” Calling for a non-partisan approach, he said: “If we have failed, we have collectively failed... We have succeeded collectively in some areas and failed collectively in other areas.”

He said groups like the NDBF and the ULFA were behind recent blasts in Assam and that the Centre was working on a comprehensive plan to deal with the situation. A CBI inquiry into the blasts would be ordered by December 18.

AGP’s Arun Kumar Sarma saoid a National Registrar of Citizens to register every citizen and issue identity cards. Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said language shouldn’t be the only tool to identify Bangladeshi infiltrators.

First Published: Dec 16, 2008 00:11 IST