New Delhi: Bangladesh home minister Asaduzzaman Khan will visit India on August 7 during which he will hold bilateral talks with home minister Amit Shah, who is expected to flag issues like illegal immigration and anti-terror cooperation.
According to sources this will be the first interaction that Mr Shah will have with a foreign leader after assuming charge as the country’s home minister two months ago. Mr Khan will have bilateral talks with the home minister on August 7 when issues concerning both the countries will be discussed threadbare, they added. India shares a 4,096-km-long border with Bangladesh.
“Anti-terror cooperation, movement of illegal immigrants, and smuggling of cattle, arms and ammunition and a few other issues are expected to be discussed in Mr Shah’s dialogue with Mr Khan,” sources said.
Radicalisation of youths and Rohingya refugees issues may also figure in the talks”, sources said. The delegation-level talks will also be attended by top internal security officials of India and Bangladesh. During the delegation-level dialogue, steps to be taken to strengthen the existing mechanism to check movement of illegal immigrants and smuggling of cattle, narcotics and other items through the porous Indo-Bangla border will figure prominently, sources said. Meanwhile, in a curious development, a sudden rise in floating cattle in West Bengal, meant for smuggling across the Bangladesh border has alarmed the Border Security Force which has deployed additional troops, motor boats and surveillance gadgets to curb the crime. “Hundreds of cattle are being smuggled through the rivers which are in spate along this border. We are increasingly intercepting cattle that are being cruelly tied to banana trunks and set afloat in the stream so that they can be collected across the border in Bangladesh by smugglers,” sources said. Over 1,200 cows and buffaloes have been seized in just over a week, they said, adding that the cost per cattle head has gone upto `1.4 lakh, from the earlier `80,000, in anticipation of the Bakrid festivities in August, they added.
Sources further said the sudden spike in the smuggling of cattle is leading to an increasing number of clashes between the border guards and smugglers but the force is still using non-lethal weapons like pump action guns to thwart smugglers and even save their own lives in case of attacks. At least a dozen BSF personnel have been injured in these skirmishes in the last few weeks with one trooper losing his hand after smugglers lobbed crude bombs at him in the middle of night at the Angrail post in North 24 Parganas district.