Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Bangladesh: Security heightened in border with Assam

[Official sources told Khaleej Times in Dhaka yesterday that the bomb blasts in the Indian state of Assam, which borders Sylhet district, have forced the Bangladesh government to put on high alert the paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles along the common border so that no Indian separatist could intrude into the country.Officials said Bangladesh has virtually sealed its borders with northeastern Indian states immediately after the Assam blasts so that there could be no intrusion by the separatists.]

Bangladesh seals borders after blasts in Assam

From Mizan Rahman

DHAKA — Bangladesh appears to be as concerned as India over the surge in separatist violence in northeastern Indian states. Officials in Dhaka said that acts of terrorism whether in India or in Bangladesh have the potential to spread.

Official sources told Khaleej Times in Dhaka yesterday that the bomb blasts in the Indian state of Assam, which borders Sylhet district, have forced the Bangladesh government to put on high alert the paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles along the common border so that no Indian separatist could intrude into the country.

The officials protested the sinister media campaign in India against Bangladesh and said that such a continued hostile campaign has the potential to make affect the relations between the two countries. "There is no reason for Bangladesh to give sanctuary to the insurgents as insurgency is being considered as a double-edged razor because it can cut anything both ways," they said adding that Bangladesh today is extremely busy in tracking down terrorists getting arms and ammunitions from India.

"When Bangladesh seized huge cache of arms in Chittagong and Bogra, Dhaka did it on its own, not with the help of Delhi," they said adding that this proves Bangladesh is fully determined to end terrorism.

Officials said Bangladesh has virtually sealed its borders with northeastern Indian states immediately after the Assam blasts so that there could be no intrusion by the separatists.

"Bangladesh nabbed three leaders of the United Liberation Front of Assam in Dhaka. Anup Chetia and two others are now in jail after they were tried by the country's courts," they said.

The Bangladesh Home Ministry had even rejected their petitions seeking political asylum in the country.

They said Bangladesh at the recently held Home Secretary level meetings in Dhaka and BDR-BSF Director General level talks in Delhi agreed to coordinated patrols along the border.

"It is against this backdrop, Bangladesh had asked India to arrest all Bangladeshi terrorists now living in different Indian cities and towns," they said.

"There is no other alternative but a close Indo-Bangladesh cooperation to attack dens of terror in both the countries," they said.

They said, Bangladesh has involved all security agencies, elite Rapid Action Battalion, newly-raised anti-crime unit Cheetah to nab terrorists.

They said, even the BSF in its meeting with BDR in Delhi acknowledged that the recent talks helped in getting better understanding of each other's point of view.

Khaleej Times 06/10/2004