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Bangladesh and India are expected to ink two crucial deals including an extradition treaty during a home ministerial meeting in the capital today.

Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who is set to arrive this morning by a special flight on a two-day visit, would sit for a meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir at 2:30pm.

The two ministers would sit for talks after a meeting of the Bangladesh cabinet approves the draft of the extradition treaty. The Indian cabinet on Thursday approved the treaty on its part.

The treaty is going to have some refusal provisions. If extradition of someone poses a threat to national security, the country concerned might refuse the deportation request, says a home ministry high official quoting the draft.

The other deal to be signed is on a friendlier visa agreement for Bangladesh titled Revised Travel Arrangement (RTA).

According to the proposed visa pact, businesspersons would be given five-year multiple entry visa; those who want to travel on medical ground would get two-year multiple entry visa, which is extendable for one more year, reports our correspondent in New Delhi.

In case of medical purpose entry, as many as three attendants of a patient would also be entitled to visa.

Both the deals are expected to be signed at the meeting at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in the capital, following which there would be a joint press conference.

A 15-member Indian delegation led by Shinde is set to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Dipu Moni before departing Dhaka tomorrow.

A home ministry official said the draft extradition treaty with 21 articles has been vetted by the law ministry.

The treaty would authorise either of the countries to turn down an extradition request if found improper or unjust, the official added.

He further said if controversy arises during an extradition process, the matter would be settled as per the laws of the country concerned.

This treaty, once signed, will pave the way for bringing back a number of listed top Bangladeshi criminals, who crossed the border and are allegedly running the crime world over phone.

It would also help India retrieve separatists like Ulfa General Secretary Anup Chetia, who often allegedly operates from Bangladesh illegally.

India has long been pressing for Chetia's deportation. The Ulfa leader has been in a Dhaka jail following his arrest in 1997 on charge of entering Bangladesh without valid documents.

Chetia is still behind bars in Bangladesh as he has sought political asylum in the country.

Besides, Bangladeshi war crimes accused Abul Kalam Azad and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's convicted killer Risaldar Moslehuddin are believed to be hiding in India.

The RTA would allow one-year multiple entry under student visa.

India would also waive the 60-day cooling off period for second visit by a Bangladeshi national. The restriction is at present applicable to citizens of Pakistan, China and some other countries.

For the first time, India and Bangladesh are also expected to exchange strip maps of their 4,096-km-long international boundary to facilitate resolving any boundary disputes locally.

A strip map is an unscaled drawing of a route to include critical points along the border, roadside features and town facilities on a simple flip-over style map. The map usually incorporates distance.

During Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Dhaka in September 2011, India and Bangladesh signed a treaty to implement exchange of 162 enclaves envisaged under the 1974 Indira-Mujib accord.

The agreement on demarcation of the border and exchange of enclaves covers 111 enclaves in India and 51 on the other side in which about 51,000 people live.

According to the agreement, the people living in the enclaves would be given the right to continue to reside there or choose their country of residence.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni at a press briefing yesterday said the Indian home minister would come to Dhaka today and there is a possibility of signing the agreements.

Asked about deportation of Anup Chetia, she said the two governments would consider extradition case by case after signing of the treaty.

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There should not be any refusal clause in the treaty, otherwise in future India will use this clause to protect the Awami terrorists those will fled to India after the next general election. People must seal the border so that Awami terrorists can not run away to India.

: Mohammed Ali





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