'Northeast Indian rebels back in Bangladesh'
Published: 2013-09-21 13:41:53.0 BdST Updated: 2013-09-21 13:57:48.0 BdST
Despite Dhaka's persistent crackdown, around 200 rebels from India's northeast have managed to stay on in parts of Bangladesh's Chittagong Hill Tracts, says a report in 'Assam Tribune' quoting Indian Home Ministry sources.
The BSF took up this issue with the BGB during a recent meeting in Dhaka, it says.
The report quoting Home Ministry sources said the rebels are not maintaining any full-fledged camp in Bangladesh but they are staying in about 25 hideouts beyond the prying eyes of Bangladesh security forces.
These shelters are in Khagrachari, Bandarban and Rangamati districts of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).
The report says that most of the militants staying in Bangladesh belong to the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT).
But other groups, like the United Liberation Front of Assam (Paresh Barua faction), PLA and UNLF of Manipur, NSCN (I-M) and National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB), are also maintaining shelters in Bangladesh.
The Indian government is still not sure whether the NDFB members staying in Bangladesh belong to the Ranjan Daimary or Songbijit faction.
Daimary, former NDFB chairman, was handed to India by Bangladesh, like ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa and UNLF chairman Rajkumar Meghen, along with scores of other rebels’ leaders since 2009.
In the recent past, the NLFT took a few kidnapped persons to Bangladesh but the other militant groups are not indulging in any unlawful activity in that country, the 'Assam Tribune' report said.
As the militants are staying mostly in villages and do not move around with weapons, it is difficult for the security agencies of Bangladesh to nab them without specific information.
Though the family members of Paresh Barua are also living in Dhaka, India is not concerned on the issue of bringing them back to India.
Its effort is now focused on bringing back ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia so that he can be involved in the peace process.
Meanwhile, sources said that Bangladesh is concerned about smuggling of psychotropic substances, like banned cough syrup, in large quantity from India, while India is concerned about cattle smuggling.
The matter was raised during the recent BSF-BGB meetings.
It is believed that joint patrolling by the Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) in the vulnerable stretches of the international border would reduce the problems to a great extent, the report said quoting BSF officials.
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