Thursday, September 10, 2009

India, Bangladesh for pact on transfer of terrorists

India and Bangladesh have decided to sign agreements which will provide for transfer of terrorists and criminals, including sentenced persons, a move that could enable deportation of insurgents from the Northeast hiding in the neighbouring country.

From our Correspondent
NEW DELHI, Sept 10: In a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the four-day visit of Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, the two sides agreed to conclude the mutual legal assistance treaty on criminal matters. Agreement for mutual legal assistance on criminal matters, agreement of transfer of sentenced persons, agreement on combating international terrorism, organized crime and illegal drug trafficking etc were discussed at a meeting between Moni and Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna. These would be finalized when the Bangladesh Prime Minister visits India next month.

The decision will enable transfer of terrorists and criminals wanted in either country. In India’s context, it will provide a legal framework for seeking deportation of insurgents from the Northeast who are taking shelter in Bangladesh.

The two countries also decided to conclude an agreement of transfer of sentenced persons. This pact will also facilitate deportation of insurgents who have been arrested and sentenced in Bangladesh, like ULFA leader Anup Chetia.

Chetia will be released from the prison in Bangladesh soon and India has already made a request that he should be handed over.

Both sides also discussed on designating Ashuganj as a new port of call under Article 23 of the Inland Water Transit and Trade Agreement as well as the use of Chittagong port by India. The Bangladesh minister agreed to provide access to Ashuganj Port to facilitate the transportation of the over dimensional consignments for the Palatana Power Project in Tripura. The Indian counterpart agreed to facilitate Nepal-Bangladesh and Bhutan-Bangladesh connectivity.

Referring to sharing of the waters of the Teesta river, it was agreed to mandate their respective foreign offices to meet and discuss the technical and other parameters of the issue. A joint hydrological observations on the river will be commenced with immediate effect. India agreed to provide at least 100 MW power to Bangladesh on a priority basis. For this purpose, India will also undertake a feasibility study on power grid inter-connectivity for transmission lines from India to Bangladesh.

Both sides agreed to movement of containerized cargo by rail and water for bilateral trade and comprehensively address all outstanding land boundary issues, including Dahagram and Angarpota enclaves and the Tin Bigha Corridor. THE SENTINEL

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