Bangladesh assures firm action on North East insurgent groups

India hands fresh list of 66 insurgent camps to Bangladesh

Shillong, March 9 (IANS): Bangladesh’s border guards have promised firm action against insurgents from India’s northeastern states taking shelter in that country, an Indian official said Sunday.

“We have handed over a list of 66 Indian insurgent camps to the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB). They have assured us of taking firm action against the Indian insurgents operating from Bangladesh,” Inspector General of Border Security Force Sudhir Kumar Srivastava, in-charge Guwahati Frontier, told media.

Moreover, he said the BGB has submitted names of 16 Bangladeshi smugglers who it alleged were operating from India for smuggling narcotics to Bangladesh. A four-day inspector general-level Border Coordination Conference between the BSF and the BGB concluded here at the BSF frontier headquarters Sunday. Srivastava, who led the Indian side, said the new list was submitted to the BGB delegation led by its commander north-east region Brig. Gen. Habibul Karim. The list is according to the specific intelligence inputs about the location of the insurgent camps.

“Most of these insurgent camps are located at several areas in Bangladesh’s Mymensing, Moulvibazar, Netrakona, Khagrachari, Rangamati, and the Kasalong Reserve Forest,” the BSF official said.

The camps included those of the ULFA, NSCN (IM), NDFB, PLA, ANVC-B, HNLC and other rebel groups active in India’s northeastern states with demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy and the right to self-determination.

However, Srivastava said the number of insurgent camps in Bangladesh has declined due to the action initiated by the Bangladesh forces and also because of the insurgents shifting their base to Myanmar.

Four northeastern states -- Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam -- share a 1,880-km border with Bangladesh. The dense forests, mountainous terrain, unfenced borders and other issues make the area porous and vulnerable.

Apart from the insurgent camps, the BSF expressed concern at the frequent crimes committed by Bangladeshi nationals inside Indian territory which include poaching, illegal migration and smuggling of fake Indian currency notes.

“We have asked them (BGB) to adopt stringent steps by initiating simultaneous border patrolling to prevent the smuggling of fake Indian currency notes and narcotics on both sides of the border,” Srivastava said.

In 2013 alone, the BSF seized fake Indian currency worth Rs.5.48 lakh and seized nearly five lakh bottles of cough syrup Phensdyl worth Rs.3 crore and a large quantity of ganja (marijuana) along the India-Bangladesh border. India-made Phensdyl is banned in Bangladesh as many people, especially the youth, use it as a recreational narcotic.
BGB’s Brig. Gen. Karim raised issues like killing, kidnapping and injuring of unarmed Bangladeshi nationals by the BSF and the Indian nationals in bordering areas, and illegal trespassing of Indian nationals into Bangladesh.