The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Meet on terror strategy

Shillong, Sept. 6: The Northeast, Sikkim and West Bengal today came closer to devising a joint strategy to curb militancy.

The states announced their unanimous resolve to fight fundamentalist groups, which were using neighbouring Bangladesh and Nepal, to spread terror in the region. A decision to this effect was taken at the end of the two-day 17th conference of directors-general and inspectors-general of police of northeastern states and West Bengal here today.

The meeting resolved to pay maximum attention to “the Siliguri corridor”, which was identified by special director (Intelligence Bureau) .C. Padhi as “an area of common interest” for the Northeast and West Bengal.

While Sikkim was included in the forum last year in Gangtok, West Bengal has been participating in such meetings for the past three years.

Meghalaya director-general of police L. Sailo said the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) today made a presentation on the jihadi groups and some of their camps along the Indo-Bangladesh border.

The participants at the meet were convinced that the use of “the Siliguri corridor” by outfits backed by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to smuggle in arms, drugs and fake currency into and out of Bangladesh “has added a new dimension to cross-border terrorism”.

The meeting spent considerable time on devising ways to “network better” with the Assam Rifles, the Border Security Force, the Central Reserve Police Force as also officials of the Narcotics Control Bureau and customs for better intelligence on the arms and narcotics trade by militant outfits.

The outcome of the two-day meeting assumes significance as it could herald a “common strategy” to tackle the links between jihadi groups and underground outfits operating in the Northeast.

Senior police, BSF and paramilitary officials as well the Intelligence Bureau were of the opinion that the rise in cross-border terrorism and the flourishing nexus between narcotics mafia, terrorists and insurgent groups pose a “new threat” to the region.

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