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HEADLINES

Indian Students Inspect Bangladesh Border

Indian Students Inspect Bangladesh Border

Dr. Richard L. Benkin writes from USA

According to an Indian reporter, a team composed primarily of Indian students conducted an inspection of the Indo-Bangla border near Tripura last week.  The team, members of the North East Students Organization (NESO), All Assam Students Union (AASU) and Tripura Students Federation expressed their concern and, according to the reporter, “resentment” over the porous and unprotected nature of the border. NESO president Dr Samujjal Bhattacharya, Tripura Students’ Federation president Upendra Devbarma and AASU president Shankar Prasad Roy expressed alarm after noting “that the border remained open except in some areas where barbed wire fencing has started.”
The team criticized
India’s Union Government for failing to protect the Indo-Bangladesh border.  “Unless the border was sealed,” the organizations declared in a joint statement, “then the consequences of it would be terrible.”

The team’s comments come on the heels of a documentary by Indian filmmaker, Mayank Jain, released this past summer that provides evidence of large population transfers from

Bangladesh to the surrounding Indian provinces of West Bengal, Asom, and Tripura.  But Jain also provides evidence that the population movements are not random but part of a larger and nefarious design.  “A conspiracy has been hatched by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence and fundamentalists from Bangladesh to carve out an Islamic country comprising Assam, Tripura, and West Bengal.”

The documentary was based on reports by the Indian Task Force on Border Management and from the former governor of Asom (previously

Assam), Lieutenant General (Retired) SK Sinha. It also contained reports by former Indian Intelligence Bureau Chief T V Rajeswar and by journalist and opposition leader, Arun Shourie. Sinha, in particular, considers the influx of these Islamic fundamentalists a threat to "security, demography, and integrity" of these areas. The documentary alleges that they are now "the deciding factor" in about one third of all Asom local elections. And the "demographic invasion," as the documentary calls it, is continuing unchecked.

US and Indian intelligence sources confirm previous analyses establishing the Al Qaeda presence in a chaotic Nepal, as well as their cooperation with Nepalese Maoists and Indian leftists. These new allegations point to an effort at a greater South Asian Islamist state. As noted by intelligence sources in the documentary, Siliguri corridor, the sliver of land between

Nepal and these areas in India and Bangladesh is the preferred entry point for the infiltrators, as they exit their hiding places in Nepal.

The documentary notes the almost knee-jerk animosity between Indians and Bangladeshis and suggests draconian measures to seal the two nations’ borders. But as the findings of Indian intelligence and others in the area suggest, many infiltrators are not Bangladeshis; in fact, their own statistics agree that the vast majority are not. A more detailed check reveal pan-national origins stretching from

Afghanistan and Pakistan to Bangladesh and Northeast India. Their common characteristic is not nationality but their deadly ideology.

Indian and Bangladeshi leaders would do well to abandon their traditional animosity and their false divisions based on religion.  Their peoples would be best served if the two nations recognized the threat that radical Islamists (often allied with other radicals, including leftists) pose to both nations and craft a common policy to defeat them together.
Posted on 15 Nov 2006 by Root
 
 
 
 
 


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