The 15th Bangladesh-India home secretaries’ meeting is set to begin in Dhaka today with the issues relating to security, cross-border crimes, border management, repatriation of criminals and border disputes high on the agenda.
Bangladesh is expected to press India to ratify the long overdue 1974 Mujib-India Land Boundary Agreement and the related Land Boundary Protocol of 2011 and stop the killings of Bangladeshis civilians by Indian Border Security Force on the frontiers, according to home ministry officials.
Senior home ministry secretary Md Mozammel Haque Khan will lead a 13-member Bangladesh team and his Idian counterpart Anil Goswami will lead a 16-member delegation of his country at the three-day talks at a city hotel.
It would be the first Dhaka-Delhi home secretaries meeting since the new Indian prime minister Narendra Modi took office on May 26.
Bangladesh would raise the outstanding Land Boundary Agreement for ratification by Indian parliament to expedite the exchange of enclaves.
‘We will raise the issue of border killings so that such incidents do not take place,’ home ministry additional secretary Kamal Uddin Ahmed told New Age.
Replying to a question, he said the extradition of Noor Hossain, the prime accused in Narayanganj seven-murder case,now in a Kolkata jail, would be raised as the talks as Bangladesh already requested India to send him back.
The home secretaries are likely to sign a memorandum of understanding on prevention of human trafficking and rescue, repatriation and rehabilitation of the victims, particularly women and children.
The Bangladesh cabinet on Monday approved a home ministry proposal for signing the MoU with India, said cabinet secretary Mohammad Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan.
The Indian delegation arrives in the morning, said Kamal Uddin, who would lead the Bangladesh side to the 14th meeting of the joint working group of the two countries.
Indian home ministry joint secretary Shambhu Singh will lead his country’s team at the working group meeting to be followed by the home secretaries talks.
Under a bilateral extradition treaty, Dhaka would also request Delhi to send back two absconding killers of Bangladesh’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman – former army captain Mazed and Risalder Muslehuddin, reportedly hiding in India, said officials.
India, on the other hand, is likely to raise the issue of repatriation of United Liberation Front of Asom leader Anup Chetia, now in Bangladesh jail.
The home secretaries’ talks scheduled for June 23-25, was postponed following a request from Delhi without assigning any reason, officials said.
At the last home secretaries’ talks held in Delhi in July 2013, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment not to allow the use of either country’s territory for activities inimical to the other side.
India in the past assured Bangladesh on several occasions that it would not allow its BSF to use lethal weapons along the border to make sure that no Bangladeshi civilians were killed by it. But the killings by BSF along the border continue unabated.
Source: New Age