India to urge Dhaka to bust rebel camps

Himalayan News Service

Agartala, January 31:

India says it is inching closer to convincing Dhaka to crack down on anti-India guerrilla bases in Bangladesh and that the two countries are in negotiations to combat cross-border terrorism. “In recent months there have been meetings at the bureaucratic and political level between the two countries on the issue of evicting militants from Indian northeastern states taking shelter in Bangladesh,” Home Minister Shivraj Patil said in this Tripura capital.

“I would say there has been some positive action taken by Bangladesh to share our concern. We hope Bangladesh will soon take appropriate measures to flush out militants from their country,” he said late yesterday.

Patil said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was likely to take up the matter with his Bangladeshi counterpart on the sidelines of the upcoming South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Dhaka next month.

New Delhi maintains there could be at least 150 camps of rebel groups from India in Bangladesh. Dhaka has in the past denied harbouring any guerrillas.

“The two countries are already exchanging information on the matter and the need now is to work out a comprehensive mechanism to deal with the problem more effectively,”

Patil said. The minister is on a four-day visit to the restive northeast to review internal security and matters related to cross-border terrorism. He visited some border areas and a Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) border post as part of confidence building exercise.