Vol. 4 Num 223 Sat. January 10, 2004  
Front Page

BDR DG says in Delhi
Over 90 rebel camps in India active against Bangladesh

Anti-Bangladesh insurgents are operating from over 90 camps in India, BDR Director General (DG) Maj Gen Jahangir Alam Chowdhury said here Thursday.

Gen Chowdhury told reporters that he would once again give the list of the camps in India from where the anti-Bangladesh insurgents were operating.

The BDR DG said that Bangladesh had given a list to the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) at the last DG level meeting held in Dhaka in April last year.

Gen Chowdhury said that the camps were located in the Indian bordering states of Assam, Mizoram and Tripura.

He said the remaining Shanti Bahini insurgent elements, who had not surrendered in 1998 and stayed back in India, together with some who had rejoined them after surrendering, were getting organised under the banners of two insurgent groups--United Peoples' Democratic Front (UPDF) and Jana Sanghati Samity (JSS).

Gen Chowdhury said that these insurgent groups were conducting terrorist activities against Bangladesh with assistance from Indian intelligence outfits.

"The remnants of the Priti group together with the wife of Manabendra Larma were carrying out anti-Bangladesh activities from across the border in the Chittagong Hill Tracts," he said.

The BDR chief said two more extremist groups, the so-called Banga Sena led by Kalidas Baidya and Bir Banga led by Chittaranjan Sutar, were also carrying out insurgency in Faridpur, Barisal and Khulna areas.

These two extremist insurgent groups were also trying to foment communal tension in various areas of Bangladesh, he said.

The Chakma insurgent outfits, Bangladesh officials said, printed in Kolkata over 5,000 anti-Bangladesh propaganda booklets to fan the fire of insurgency in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

They said in the booklets the insurgents painted imaginary pictures of "brutal and ruthless attacks on Jhum villages in Mohalchhari of Khagrachhari by Bangali settlers."

Gen Chowdhury was talking to the waiting reporters from print and electronic media at the North Block as he was coming out of the chamber of Indian State Minister for Home S Chinmayanand after paying a courtesy call on him.

BSF DG Ajay Raj Sharma accompanied Gen Chowdhury during the visit.

Asked whether Sharma had given him a list of Indian insurgent camps in Bangladesh or their locations, the BDR DG said, "From where he would give such a list or location as there is none?"

Gen Chowdhury said that even if a single camp could be shown, "we shall destroy it."

Bangladesh, he said, would in no way allow any such camps to operate against neighbouring India.

At the border talks, Gen Chowdhury reiterated that the Bangladesh-India joint border guidelines should be followed in letter and spirit in resolving any problem cropping up along borders of the two neighbouring countries.

BSF DG Ajay Raj Sharma, according to a BSF press release, said that the complex problems along the India-Bangladesh border could be resolved through correct identification and 'coordinated, comprehensive action.'

Sharma, according to the press release, said that the 'evil designs' and 'threat from a microscopic minority consisting of various militant groups who believe in the cult of violence and have no respect for human lives and values' must be put to 'an end' by 'joining our hands and pooling our resources together to fight this menace in all its dimensions.'

The BSF press release said the relations between the two countries have improved since the last DG level border meeting held in Dhaka in April 2003.

The two delegations yesterday exchanged drafts of a Joint Record of Discussions to be signed Friday.

Gen Chowdhury is leading a 20-member Bangladesh team at the talks, which began here on January 6, while Sharma is leading the Indian side.

Both the delegation leaders said that the talks were taking place in 'a cordial atmosphere.'

The BSF DG hosted a reception for his Bangladesh counterpart and the BDR DG hosted a return reception for his Indian counterpart yesterday evening.

Some of the Indian print media published the news briefing of Gen Chowdhury on India harbouring anti-Bangladesh insurgents. A number of TV channels also carried the news.