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India, Bangladesh ink extradition treaty, new visa regime

India, Bangladesh ink extradition treaty, new visa regime

Dhaka: India and Bangladesh Monday inked an extradition treaty and a friendlier visa regime, as New Delhi appreciated Dhaka's role in helping address India's security concerns, especially in tackling Indian insurgent groups operating out of Bangladesh.

The agreements, inked during the visit of Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to Dhaka, also saw both the sides reiterate their resolve to "act against elements inimical to both countries".

Shinde and his Bangladesh counterpart Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, during the fourth Bangladesh-India home minister-level talks at Dhaka, also expressed satisfaction at the "smooth operation" of the Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP) and agreed to increase joint patrolling to curb criminal activities along the border.

In a joint media statement, the two sides agreed to allow development work within 150 yards of the zero line. For better border management, both sides agreed to immediately start consultations between the district commissioner and district magistrate of border districts for resolving local issues.

Both ministers agreed to intensify cooperation in areas such as human trafficking, drugs, and with Interpol.

They noted that interaction of different bilateral mechanisms had helped to "enhance understanding and resolve issues for mutual satisfaction", said an official statement.

Bangladesh and India agreed to cooperate with each other in "apprehending wanted criminals and fugitives".

The Bangladesh home minister "once again urged for immediate tracking, arresting and handing over the killers of the father of the nation, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman".

Shinde "assured that all possible assistance would be extended in this regard, if they are found in India".

India is expected to ask for handing over of Anup Chetia, alias Golap Barua, a founder-member of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), who is in a Dhaka jail.

Other northeast militant leaders that India is likely to ask to be deported include Tripura militant leader Vishwa Mohan Deb Barman and National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) leader Thulunga alias Tensu Narzary.

Bangladesh is seeking India's help in nabbing and handing over of two killers of Sheikh Mujib -- Captain (retd) Abdul Mazed and Risaldar (retd) Moslehuddin -- who were believed to be hiding in India.

The two sides also agreed to take immediate measures for repatriation of released prisoners and victims of trafficking.

The home ministers noted the "excellent and friendly bilateral relations" and that the visits by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India in 2010 and that of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Bangladesh in September 2011 had "infused a new dynamism in the bilateral relations".

On the liberalized visa agreement, the two sides hoped it would "ease the visa obtaining procedure and promote people-to-people exchanges between the two countries".

The new visa regime, named revised travel arrangement, proposes to remove restrictions on visits of businesspersons, students, patients, senior citizens above 65 years and children below 12 years.

Businessmen would be given five-year multiple entry visa, while those travelling for medical purposes would be given two-year multiple entry visa along with visa to three attendants of a patient, under the proposals.

They also discussed the Land Border Agreement of 1974 and noted that its early ratification would pave the way for implementation of provisions of the agreement and resolve long pending boundary related issues, the statement said.

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