India, Bangladesh agree to share militant information

Dhaka: India and Bangladesh on Tuesday agreed to share information on militants as their home secretaries concluded talks here reviewing internal security and other cross-border issues, days after the two countries exchanged a top separatist leader and a wanted criminal.

“They (India) assured us of providing information immediately if they get any information on militancy… We can eliminate terrorism and insurgency through bilateral understanding and intelligence sharing,” Bangladesh’s home secretary Mozammel Haque Khan told reporters here after talks with his Indian counterpart Rajiv Mehrishi.

The two neighbours also agreed to launch an awareness campaign for people along both sides of the borders to evade tensions in frontiers and prevent border guards from using their weapons.

“We have agreed that the citizens of both countries should be motivated not to create tension on the border by refraining from (illegal) cross border movements and following the international laws,” Khan said.

The official-level talks between the two home ministries came in less than a week after extradition of Indian separatist ULFA leader Anup Chetia from Bangladesh and subsequent deportation of one of Bangladesh’s most wanted criminals, Nur Hossain, from India.

He said the issue of Bangladeshi nationals being detained by Indian border forces largely dominated the talks while “both the countries have agreed to reduce such incidents to zero”. Issues of cross-border and sub-regional security and communication also came up during the discussion.

Mehrishi later called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who expressed satisfaction over the outcome of the home secretary-level talks in the Bangladeshi capital, hoping it contributes to enhanced sub-regional communication.

“It was a courtesy call on when she (Hasina) expressed her satisfaction about the outcome of the secretary-level talks and expected it to expedite the sub-regional communication process,” Prime Minister’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim told PTI.

Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka, Pankaj Sharan, was also present during the call on when the two home secretaries, apart from road communication, also talked about coastal shipping, signing a “standard operative procedure”.