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'Almost zero' terror camps in Bangla

The training camps and hideouts of Indian insurgent groups in Bangladesh have been reduced to "almost zero", the Border Security Force has said, thanking its Bangladeshi counterpart for its help.

  • Published 18.12.17
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New Delhi: The training camps and hideouts of Indian insurgent groups in Bangladesh have been reduced to "almost zero", the Border Security Force has said, thanking its Bangladeshi counterpart for its help.

"Whenever we have information about (infiltration by) insurgents from the northeastern states into Bangladesh, we share the information and immediate raids are undertaken (by Border Guard Bangladesh)," BSF director-general K.K. Sharma said.

"As a result, the number of training places and hideouts of these insurgents has been reduced to almost zero. I congratulate our counterparts."

If some Indian militant camps still exist in Bangladesh, they are of a floating nature, Sharma said, indicating that all permanent camps have been destroyed.

Under the Sheikh Hasina government, Bangladesh has upped its cooperation with India in cracking down on the Northeast militants within its borders. Several insurgent leaders have been informally handed over at the borders.

The two border forces have since 2015 been conducting simultaneous and coordinated patrols of the frontier to check crime and insurgency.

For the past many decades, the BSF has been handing over a list of insurgents to Bangladeshi border guards during every director-general-level meeting, a senior BSF officer said.

"The numbers of these (militants) used to be 150-200 every time a list was handed over. That situation has now changed and the (insurgents) are now on the run, without being able to stay put at a place on the other side for long," the officer said.

Another BSF officer said there was a time when areas in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, such as Khagrachari and Bandarban near the Tripura and Mizoram borders, lacked any Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) "habitation and domination". The insurgents used these locations for their anti-India activities.

"With consistent pursuance during talks at the director-general level and other levels, the BGB cracked down in these forests and the insurgents are now on the run," he said. He quoted from an official document to say the BGB had made certain arrangements to have its "permanent camps" in these areas.

Moulvibazar and Sherpur districts - which adjoin north Tripura, the Cachar region of Assam, and Meghalaya -hosted Ulfa camps.

"The BGB also cracked down in these areas, and the situation is much better now. The BSF too has pressed its manpower in these areas to be able to inform the BGB quickly," the officer said. PTI