Zero tolerance for anti-India activities: B`desh

Bangladesh assured that fugitives like ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia will be handed over to India at the earliest.

New Delhi: Bangladesh on Monday said it will not tolerate anti-India activities on its soil and gave the assurance that fugitives like ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia will be handed over to India at the "earliest".

Addressing a joint press conference at the end of the 12th India-Bangladesh Home Secretary-level talks, Bangladesh Home Secretary Monzur Hossain said Dhaka was keen to further improve security cooperation with New Delhi by exploring new areas for mutual benefit of the two neighbours.

"Anti-India forces are not active in Bangladesh. We don`t allow them. We don`t allow them to do anything like that. But some time some things do happen, that is a different issue. But they will not be tolerated. We have zero tolerance for them," he said sitting besides Union Home Secretary RK Singh.

Both the Home Secretaries reaffirmed their commitment not to allow the territory of either country to be used for any activity inimical to each other`s interests.

Asked about the possibility of deportation of Anup Chetia, languishing in a jail in Dhaka since 1997, Hossain said due to some legal issues, he has not been deported but hoped that those issues would be resolved soon and that he would be handed over to India "at the earliest".

"Legal matters are not in our hands... We can`t comment on them. They are subjudice. Once that is done, we will take appropriate action at the earliest," he said.

Singh said discussions on Chetia were on and New Delhi was happy with the status and the steps being taken by Bangladesh.

"We consider Bangladesh to be one of our closest friends. In the past one-and-a-half years, our cooperation has been very close, very close indeed. We are very happy -- both the countries are very happy with the cooperation which is in place. We look forward to this cooperation and (want it) to keep going on," he said.

During the three-day Home Secretary-level talks, India and Bangladesh agreed to operationalise Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), transfer of sentenced persons, Agreement on Combating Organised Crime and Illegal Drug Trafficking which were signed during the visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India in January last year.

Both sides also agreed to implement the coordinated Border Management Plan signed during the visit of Home Minister P Chidambaram to Bangladesh in July this year and finalise Extradition Treaty at an early date.

"The draft has been shared and we are going through it. It is taking time. We are scrutinising it," Singh said.

In the meeting, Bangladesh sought assistance from the Indian side in tracking, apprehending and handing over the killers of the architect of Bangladesh`s independence Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Indian side agreed to extend all possible cooperation while seeking additional information in this regard.

"We expect that India will do the needful. We are very much hopeful that when more information will be available to their law enforcement agencies, they will be able to round them up and hand them over to Bangladesh. We appreciate India`s efforts," Hossain said.

Singh said he has told the Bangladeshi side that India will extend all help to apprehend the killers.

The meeting noted the cooperation extended by Bangladesh to prevent smuggling of fake Indian currency notes into India and agreed to further enhance level of cooperation and vigilance in this regard.

Asked as to when the Teesta river water sharing agreement will be signed, Hossain said the issue was not under their purview but hoped that "it will take place very soon. That is our hunch."


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