At the end of a 3 day face to face between the
Border Security Force (BSF) and the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR)
India demanded imprisoned terrorists be repatriated, Bangladesh denied the presence of leaders of the terrorist movement. It was common knowledge that United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) General Secretary Anup Chetia and 17 others was imprisoned by Bangladesh for illegal entry, possession of two forged passports, an unauthorized satellite telephone and currencies of US, UK, Switzerland, Thailand and others. Intelligence officials say that, bowing to political pressure from his lawyers and human rights groups, Bangladesh has indirectly granted Chetia asylum allowing him to stay in jails even after his prison-term ended even while persistently being non-committal on the issue.
It appears that the BDR even refused to acknowledge the presence of Chetia in Bangladesh . Apart from these terrorists, who fled to Bangladesh after India and Bhutan launched coordinated raids to flush out these rebels from camps in the Himalayan reaches, India had give BDR a list of 103 North East insurgent leaders now hiding in Bangladesh; the BDR has denied any of them live in their country. India also supplied a list of 172 rebel camps used by the guerillas as training facilities and with the full connivance of government and BDR. The terrorists uses these bases to conduct hit and run attacks, kidnap government officials and businessmen for ransom, and organize anti-India activities.
The BDR has apparently accepted responsibility to inquire about the 172 camps and the insurgents in Bangladesh which is nothing but a ruse to buy time to cover up tracks. Exasperated BSF officials say that BDR always deny the existence of camps and instead give India a list of Bangladeshi militants supposedly operating from India but oftentimes, the names of towns and outposts supplied by them do not exist. Acknowledging that Bangladesh was also affected by global terrorism, BSF officials now want the Joint Working Groups (JWG) to resolve the disagreements when they meet next in November. The only silver lining is that the two sides have agreed to share intelligence on the movement of militant groups.
The two sides also seem to be keen to set up a ceremonial activity along the lines of what goes on between India and Pakistan on the Wagah border.
The ULFA has been insisting the release of its imprisoned executive members who they say must be present at a general body meeting with a quorum of 2/3 of its executive body to decide whether it should hold talks with New Delhi . Analysts say that 3 other executive members of the ULFA are missing since the India-Bhutan joint raids and 2 others are presumed dead. The outfit’s chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa and “commander-in-chief” Paresh Barua are believed to be in Bangladesh but their existence has been denied by Dhaka .
Surprisingly, Home Secretary V.K. Duggal was quoted saying that
the Government will consider the request
if it gets an official communiqué from the group. Releasing the members based on
a communiqué, official or not, is legitimizing an organization long engaged in
terrorism against Indian forces, officials, businessmen, and civilians through
extortion, summary killings, and kangaroo courts. They also engage in
a campaign of bombing oil, pipeline, and other installations and targeting civilian centers.
The Government has to evaluate the benefits of trying to talk to an illegitimate organization with questionable credibility.