Govt warns Bdesh against harbouring anti-India elements

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 17 2008, 04:29am hrs
Shifting its attention from Pakistan momentarily, Parliament on Monday put the focus on Bangladesh and its soil being used by insurgent groups for anti-India activities as the government issued a strong warning to Dhaka on the issue.

The message must go to Bangladesh that it was duty bound to ..it cannot allow its territory to be a safe haven to insurgent groups, home minister P Chidambaram told the Lok Sabha at the end of a three hour long debate on insurgency in the north east with a special reference to Assam.

The government however remained silent on demand from several members who favoured giving an ultimatum to Dhaka in the same manner as Pakistan.

In the long run, Bangladesh is hurting itself if it does not enjoy good relations with India, Chidambaram said, adding that the issues regarding insurgency in the Northeast were quite grave and that the centre was evolving a comprehensive plan to deal with the situation.

Listing five areas which needed attention in the Northeast, he said tardy progress in border fencing and issuing national identity cards, illegal immigration from Bangladesh and perception about pervasive corruption were the areas of concern. He noted that border fencing had resulted in rich dividends in Punjab at the height of militancy there.

Chidamabaram also suggested that a CBI inquiry into the Assam blasts would be ordered by December 18 and the Centre was awaiting the list of cases from the state government.

Speaking in the debate, Lok Sabha MPs from the region demanded concrete action, including fencing of Indo-Bangla border and destruction of the politician-ultra nexus.

Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary said the government should ensure the security of areas around the Indo-Bangla border with Siliguri, known as the 'Chicken's neck'.

Arunachal Pradesh MP Kiren Rijiju said the country was galvanised only when the Taj and Oberoi hotels in Mumbai were attacked.

Before that the northeast was being attacked every other day but that made no difference to the country, he said. Rijiju also sought the formation of a judicial commission to probe the alleged politician-ultra nexus.