The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Delhi fires Bangla camp salvo at Pak

Sept. 14: India has accused Pakistan of moving militant training camps to Bangladesh to avoid world attention even as the US urged the three nations to cooperate in the war against terror.

Border Security Force chief Ajai Raj Sharma said: 'There are firm reports that ISI has set up new training centres for terrorists in Bangladesh.' Most militant groups operating in Kashmir now are being trained in Bangladesh, he added.

The allegation came as the US suggested that the three countries 'discuss the issue (terrorism) to fight terrorism in South Asia' and a team led by home secretary Dhirendra Singh readied to leave for two-day talks in Dhaka.

Indications are that India, which is seeking the custody of militant leaders operating out of Bangladesh and the closure of 195 insurgent camps, does not expect a breakthrough in the joint working group discussions.

US deputy assistant secretary for South Asia Torkel . Patterson, who was in Dhaka today, expressed concern over the seizure of a large cache of arms in Chittagong this April, which India suspects was meant for militant groups operating in the country, including Ulfa.

The 1975 guidelines, which bar erection of defensive structures within 150 yards of the zero line, are likely to come up for discussion. Delhi would like Dhaka to agree to fencing within the 150-yard mark in some villages and allow 31 development projects, including minor irrigation schemes, village roads and schools, near the zero line.

Playing down expectations of a breakthrough in the two-day talks, officials expressed concern over fundamentalist forces tightening their grip on the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led four-party coalition.

According to India's assessment, the Jamaat-e-Islami appears to be the prime mover in the Khaleda Zia government unwilling to resist fundamentalist influence. 'It appears that senior people in the government are linked to extremist organisations,' an official said.

Sources said the home secretary would raise internal security issues but suggested that in view of developments in the recent past, the delegation knew what to expect.

Singh is likely to bring up India's concern about Bangladesh emerging as a transit point for arms smuggling. Dhaka had promised to share details of its investigation into the Chittagong weapons haul. 'They have not got back to us but we understand that they have filed chargesheets against some people on the fringes of the conspiracy, like drivers,' an official said.

Delhi is also unhappy about Dhaka's non-cooperation in handing over Indian nationals arrested in Bangladesh for violating their laws and is likely to press for Ulfa leader Anup Chetia's deportation after he completes a jail term next month.

There are fears that Chetia might disappear as quietly as Sanjeev Dev Burman of the All-Tripura Tiger Force. Dismissing Indian demands that he be deported, Dhaka had handed over Dev Burman to a non-governmental organisation headed by the wife of a senior minister in the Khaleda Zia government. Delhi fears that the same NGO ' which is opposing his deportation to India 'would be given Chetia's custody.

'The last time when the government could not make up its mind on Chetia, it was found that he had not paid a fine and was kept in jail for an extended term in lieu of the fine amount,' an official pointed out.

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