Bangladesh to handover Indian militants

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Agartala, November 17:  Bangladesh Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir on Sunday said his country would handover extremists and criminals wanted in India to respect the recently signed extradition treaty between two neighbouring countries. He said top leader of United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) Anup Chetia cannot be extradited now because of his appeal pending in the Supreme Court.

“Mr Anup Chetia has completed his term in jail over his illegal stay in Bangladesh. However he has moved our Supreme Court against his possible deportation elsewhere and the court is yet to settle the plea”, Dr Alamgir told newsmen after opening of the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Akhaura border in Agartala.

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Sindhe inaugurated the ICP, second such facility after Atari border in Punjab and first on Bangladesh border.

The ICP provides modern infrastructure for cross border movement of passengers, trade activities and border management.

Home ministers of India and Bangladesh were leading high level delegations to grace the occasion. However Bangladesh Shipping Minister Sahajahan Khan and Tripura Chief Minister, who is suffering from fever, could not turn up.

India proposed to set up 13 ICPs along frontiers with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar to facilitate better trade and immigration between neighbouring countries.

“The setting up of ICPs along India’s international border is a major infrastructural initiative and I am confident that the ICP became operational today would be milestone in improvement of people to people contact and cross border trade with Bangladesh”, Mr Shinde stated while addressing the audience comprising political leaders, diplomats, senior government, security officials and general public.

Bangladesh home minister Dr Alamgir thanked his counterpart for facilitating first ICP with Bangladesh which would usher in a new era in relations between the two countries. He referred to contributions of people of Tripura during war of liberation of Bangladesh.

Tripura Trade and Commerce Minister Jitendra Choudhury urged Mr. Shinde to approve setting up eight border haats (markets) on zero line of border in the state to trade commodities and requested Dr Alamgir to allow access to Chittagong port in Bangladesh, which is 75km from Sabroom in south Tripura.

Home Minister opined that Tripura is strategically located and is gateway of northeast India. He assured that sanctions would be given to border haats for Tripura as the same has been successful in Meghalaya state.

He appealed to Bangladesh counterpart to ensure more imports from northeast India in general and Tripura in particular to end the trade imbalance in this sector. Records show Bangladesh exported goods worth Rs 240 crore and imported mere Rs 1 crore through Akhaura border.

Later talking to newsmen Dr Alamgir denied presence of any Indian militant groups in Bangladesh soil. “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stands firm on the issue and if there is any specific information given to us we would immediately take action”, he added.

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