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Hideouts, Chetia on Indo-Bangla agenda

New Delhi, Aug. 29: The presence of Indian insurgents in 10 Bangladesh districts and the return of Ulfa leader Anup Chetia will be the focus of the home secretary-level talks between India and Bangladesh in Dhaka from Tuesday.

Union home secretary Anil Goswami will be holding discussions with his Bangladesh counterpart Mohammed Mozammel Hoque Khan from September 2 to 4.

Goswami is expected to hand over a list of hideouts and camps in the neighbouring country besides ask for the return of Chetia and two other Ulfa leaders to India “immediately”. The three arrested in Bangladesh for various offences have completed their sentences. Conversely, Bangladesh is still looking for the conspirators in the assassination of former Bangladesh President Mujibur Rehman.

The security establishment, including intelligence agencies and the military set-up, have noted there has been an increase in the number of hideouts or camps that Indian outfits have set up in the neighbouring country.

From the 66 camps listed last year, the number has risen to 71 camps this year, sources said. The BSF had provided a list of the camps to the Border Guard Bangladesh during the forces’ biannual meeting here.

The Meghalaya-based GNLA has camps in Netrokona, Tangail and Sherpur districts in Bangladesh. Leaders of another outfit, the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), C. Thangkiew and Bobby Marwein, who are at large, are allegedly living in Khasi villages in Sylhet, Moulvi Bazar and Rangamati, according to intelligence reports.

Camps of northeastern insurgents are based in villages and forested areas in Bangladesh districts along the Indian border, sources said.

The NLFT of Tripura reportedly has presence in Khagrachari, Rangamati, Moulvi Bazar and Habiganj. Ulfa’s Drishti Rajkhowa apparently frequents Rangpur and Sherpur districts while Nagaland and Manipur outfits have presence in Khagrachari, Rangamati, Bandarbon and Chittagong districts, sources said.

India’s concern over rising hideouts stems from a contradiction that the Awami League administration had handed over a record number of insurgents to India. A Bangladesh court has sentenced Ulfa leader Paresh Barua to death in absentia while many pro-talks leaders returned to India.

Of late, as India dithers on ratifying the land-boundary agreement and sharing of the Teesta waters, Dhaka seems to have gone slow on Delhi’s concerns. Besides discussing insurgency, the two sides will also discuss the increasing trend of kidnapping of Indian nationals allegedly by terrorist outfits in Bangladesh. There were 19 such abductions in 2012 and 27 in 2013.

“This year, 10 such abductions have already been registered in Bengal,” an official said. Bangladesh is also a haven for many Indian fugitives who either live in India and visit Bangladesh or live in a third country and keep visiting the neighbouring country. There are about 91 such fugitives who have Interpol red-corner notices against them. India is likely to forewarn Bangladesh of their likelihood to visit that country.


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