The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Advani, Buddha bond on Bangla terror

New Delhi, Nov. 22: The CPM central committee agrees with Union home minister L.K. Advani that cross-border terrorism in West Bengal has gone up following the ascendancy of Begum Khaleda Zia to power in Bangladesh.

Party leaders, however, point out that they are not “following” Advani but that he is “following” them, as the CPM was the first to make this connection. “We have been saying this for a long time,” said CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechuri.

Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will meet deputy Prime Minister Advani at his North Block office tomorrow morning to discuss the issue. The meeting will focus on the increase in ISI activities since the Bangladesh Nationalist Party government took over in Dhaka. The chief minister is also concerned about members of the al Qaida and other fundamentalist groups slipping into villages bordering Bangladesh.

The state’s vulnerability to terrorist activities is one issue that the two agree on. Two days ago, the Union home minister called the chief minister to express his satisfaction over the arrest of two terrorists who had crossed over from Bangladesh.

This is not the first time that Advani and Bhattacharjee have agreed on something.

Earlier, much to the satisfaction of Advani and his party, Bhattacharjee had proposed bringing in a law to curb criminal activities in Bengal.

The chief minister had also launched a series of activities against some madarsas on the basis of intelligence reports that these were a hub of terrorist and disruptive activities.

The CPM leadership had, however, pulled back the chief minister from bringing in an Ordinance against criminal activities in Bengal and intensifying raids on a section of madarsas.

However, after a terrorist attack on the American Center in Calcutta, the party leadership has undergone a change of heart and has agreed to the introduction of the Prevention of Organised Crimes Act in Bengal.

Sources in the party say it is simpler for CPM bosses in Delhi to reel out a “line”. However, as Bhattacharjee has to face the music in Bengal, he should be allowed to follow policies in the best interest of the state, they say.

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