`Bangladesh mission in Delhi fears ULFA retaliation`

Bangladesh`s envoy to India has sought immediate steps for upgrading the New Delhi mission`s security fearing retaliation by ULFA in the wake of BSF arresting two top militant leaders.

Dhaka: Bangladesh`s envoy to India has sought immediate steps for upgrading the New Delhi mission`s security fearing retaliation by ULFA in the wake of BSF arresting two top militant leaders, who were reportedly earlier detained in his country.
Bangladeshi High Commissioner to India Tariq A Karim, in a recent letter to Dhaka, said a possible backlash from ULFA and religious extremists in Bangladesh has made the mission`s compound at the Chanakyapuri diplomatic enclave in New Delhi extremely vulnerable, `The New Age` reported.

"These developments have meant that the High Commission and its personnel have become extremely vulnerable as targets for retaliatory attacks in India aimed at humiliating the government of Bangladesh," it quoted the letter as saying.

The letter sought immediate government steps to upgrade the High Commission`s security apparatus calling it the "most pressing problem" and suggested installation of closed-circuit television cameras along its boundary wall, besides security barriers and fire-fighting equipment.

According to the report, Karim has already approached the Indian government for enhancing security for the mission while sending details of its requirements for the security equipment to the Foreign Ministry in Dhaka.

Foreign Ministry officials here were not available for immediate comments on the report, which came a week ahead of Premier Sheikh Hasina`s three-day visit to New Delhi, the first since her Awami League party came to power after the landmark December 29, 2008 polls.

Earlier reports had said that ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa was detained in Bangladesh in December along with the group`s deputy military chief Raju Baruah, a bodyguard and seven members of the outfit, before their arrest by BSF.

Several reports said the development exposed Bangladesh to wrath of ULFA which promised to retaliate.

Today`s `New Age` report came a week after papers reported an Indian plan to engage its own security forces for the security of its High Commission in Dhaka sparking a political debate, with main opposition BNP of ex-premier Khaleda Zia calling it a move to undermine Bangladesh`s "sovereignty".

The Foreign Ministry in Dhaka, however, brushed aside the concern saying the foreign embassy or High Commission compounds are the sovereign area of the respective countries and "the security arrangement inside the embassy is an internal matter of theirs."

Bangladesh police two months ago arrested four suspected Pakistani and Bangladeshi operatives of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) who allegedly planned to carry out an attack on the Indian High Commission and US embassy in Dhaka.

A subsequent e-mail threat by unidentified senders prompted Bangladeshi authorities to intensify further the security of the Indian envoy in Dhaka and the High Commission here.

PTI

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