The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Delhi focus on Bangla 'camps'

New Delhi, Oct. 13: Dhaka's refusal to act against Indian insurgents operating from its soil dominated today's meeting of the Cabinet Committee (CCS) on Security.

It was unanimously agreed at the meeting, convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, that Bangladesh needs to be nudged on the matter.

Home minister Shivraj Patil is learnt to have made a presentation to the committee on the Northeast situation, on how Delhi wants Dhaka to address its security concerns as well as Bangladesh's response during the recent home secretary-level talks.

The Union cabinet, which also met today, is learnt to have cleared a proposal to have a special adviser on Manipur at the home ministry to guide the Centre. Sources said the name of a retired Manipur-Tripura cadre IAS officer is being considered for this additional secretary-rank post.

It is unclear if the CCS has agreed on a specific way to pressure Dhaka to act on the rebel camps. An official said no formal decision has been taken.

The home ministry is keen on central clearance for getting the Border Security Force to erect a fence within 150 yards of the Bangladesh border in areas where villages extend up to the boundary. Dhaka has said this violates a 1975 agreement signed by the border security forces of the two countries.

But during his Dhaka visit, home secretary Dhirendra Singh ticked off his hosts. He said Delhi did not want to ignore Bangladesh's concerns but constructing a fence on its side of the border was its sovereign right.

Patil today reportedly briefed the cabinet committee on peace negotiations with Naxalites in Andhra Pradesh set for later this week as well as the United Liberation Front of Asom and the National Democratic Front of Boroland's talks offers.

The minister is learnt to have told the panel that North Block would like the rebels to talk to state governments first instead of involving the Centre at the outset. The CCS agreed and suggested that the Tarun Gogoi government in Assam steps in whenever the NDFB approaches the Centre. It said the Centre should provide the respective state governments funds and security forces to take the peace process forward.

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