India still faces threat from Bangladesh

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    Feb 16, 2009
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    Addressing a seminar on conflicts in northeastern states organized by Research Centre for Eastern and North Eastern Regional Studies, Kolkata and Centre for Security Analysis, Chennai, she said the extensive business and commercial networks that underground groups from the northeast had built in Bangladesh remained largely intact, though important leaders like Arobindo Rajkhowa had been handed over to India. "Has the Bangladesh government destroyed the economic base of these insurgent groups?" she asked. She described how in the past the camps of these groups in Bangladesh used to run in collusion with Director General of Forces Intelligence and Inter Services Intelligence.

    Pointing out that vested interests in Bangladesh were preventing transit facilities through their country as they considered the northeastern states as their captive markets and did not want Indian goods to reach there, she said India should make Bangladesh a partner in future plans for economic development of these states. To prevent illegal influx from Bangladesh, work permits should be introduced, she added, arguing that Bangladesh had prepared its own population register which it maintained strictly and had not allowed Rohingiyas to enter Bangladesh during recent ethnic violence in Myanmar despite international pressure.

    Inaugurating the seminar, West Bengal governor M. K. Narayanan said "Ulfa-inspired insurgency is on the rise" in Assam and expressed concern at the strengthening of Muslim fundamentalist organizations. In Manipur, People's Liberation Army was networking with Maoists. Talking to TOI later, GOC-in-C Eastern Command Dalbir Singh said, however, that United Liberation Front of Asom had considerably weakened after its split in the pro- and anti-talk factions.

    Analysing reasons for ethnic violence in the NE, former North Eastern Council secretary Falguni Rajkumar said control over land had become an important factor in assertion of ethnic identity. Religious conversions were also deepening ethnic divides. He also stressed on the need for a holistic approach to problems in the northeast.

    India still faces threat from Bangladesh - The Times of India

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