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Bangla cooperation limits Centre’s role

Bangla cooperation limits Centre’s role

SHILLONG: The surgical strikes by India on the terror pads in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) have brought the focus on Bangladesh, which, however, was prompt in taking steps to weed out Northeast militants from its soil.
The Bangladesh authorities’ alacrity and tough action against militants from the North East has resulted in dwindling makeshift camps of the insurgents in the neighbouring country, official sources said on Sunday.
With the improved relationship between India and Bangladesh, the situation is different compared to Pakistan as for the last 10 years, the number of camps of Northeast militants has drastically reduced from over 150.
In the past, there used to be continuous denial on the part of Bangladesh on the existence of Northeast militants on its soil, but this was contradicted by surrendered militants who had taken shelter in the neighbouring country.
Moreover, the BSF had shared details of militant camps with Bangladesh which acted promptly. The Bangladesh authorities continue to carry out operations against militants from the North East taking shelter in the neighbouring country, the State police and the BSF have confirmed.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma had on Friday hinted at the need for India to take similar steps like the one in POK to neutralise militants from the North East taking shelter in Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries.
However, the security forces have a different view on the matter as Bangladesh is taking pro-active steps in dealing with the militants compared to Pakistan.
“The case of attack by India on the terror pads in Pakistan is different from that of Bangladesh, and in fact, Bangladesh authorities have been taking action against the Northeast insurgents on its soil,” a BSF official said.
The official added that with the frequent vigil by both the personnel of Border Guard Bangladesh and BSF, there is considerable check on the anti-India forces along the border and the neighbouring country.
According to the official, from hundreds of camps of Northeast militants, which existed in Bangladesh several years ago, currently there are only a few hideouts in the neighbouring country.
However, there were reports in the past that some Tripura and Meghalaya-based militant camps still exist in Bangladesh.
“Based on inputs, we regularly take up the matter with our counterparts in Bangladesh during our periodic meetings to take action against militants and criminals holed up in the neighbouring country,” the official added.
As per the BSF sources, the hideouts of HNLC in Bangladesh include Pucthichera and Phanai Punaee in Moulavi Bazar area (Rest camp) and two transit camps, one at Nunachera also under Moulavi Bazar area and another at Bulsuri under Rangmati area (Transit camp).
Other training camps include Arusumer in Chittagong Hills Tract and Islapunjee and Noonchera in Moulavi Bazar.
Besides, the Tripura-based militants had also set up temporary camps in Chittagong Hills Tract.
However, the BSF and police sources said the difficulty in tracking the HNLC cadres who are few in number in Bangladesh is that they have mingled with the border population besides engaging themselves as workers in betel nut plantations.

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