New Delhi, April 8: Conceding that militants from India do operate from Bangladesh, Maj. Gen. Shakil Ahmed, the director-general of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), today said his country was evolving strategies to fight the insurgents.
“Any territory can be used by criminals. But I wish to state here emphatically that we will not allow Bangladeshi territory to be used by individuals or groups inimical to India,” Gen. Ahmed said on the first day of the talks with the BSF.
Following Bangladesh’s recent gesture of recognising India ’s role in helping the Mukti Bahini, the BSF made a reciprocal gesture. The director-general of the BSF, A.K. Mitra, said a photo album and a memento in memory of the “war of liberation” were handed over to the BDR today.
It was only last year that the BDR, for the first time after the caretaker government took over, conceded that Indian insurgent groups indeed operate from Bangladeshi soil. However, Bangladesh claimed it faces problems in eliminating the militants. “They (militants) do not stay in the same place. We are trying to evolve a strategy as quickly as they evolve,” Gen. Ahmed told reporters.
Both sides exchanged lists of terrorist groups allegedly operating on each other’s territory.
While there is little doubt about insurgent groups like Ulfa making Bangladesh a permanent base, BSF officials said there are hardly any terrorist groups from Bangladesh who would hide in India. BSF officials discussed the influx of Bangladeshi nationals into India, impacting Assam and West Bengal the most.
Both countries will now concentrate more on exchange of information that would result in better border management. Over the next few days, the two sides will discuss hurdles in development within 150 yards of the international border and ways to control cattle smuggling and drug trafficking.