India assures Bangladesh help in tracking, nabbing Mujib killers

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New Delhi – India has assured neighbour Bangladesh of all help in “tracking, arresting and handing over” of the assassins of its first president, Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, who was killed by disgruntled junior army officers on the night of Aug 14-15, 1975 in a coup along with most of his family.

The assurance was given by India’s Home Secretary R.K. Singh during official talks with Bangladesh’s Senior Secretary for Home Affairs C.Q.K. Mustaq Ahmed in Dhaka this week. The talks ended Wednesday and the Indian team returned to New Delhi Thursday.

Help for tracking the killers, including Risaldar Mosleuddin, had been first raised at the home secretary-level talks held here last year. Mosleuddin is said to be the army man who shot the then Bangladeshi president during the military coup.

It is generally believed in Bangladesh that the killer and his accomplices might have fled to India, which has held that its agencies are clueless about their whereabouts.

At the home secretary-level talks, the two sides also agreed to extend cooperation to each other for apprehension ofwanted criminals and fugitives.

“Both sides agreed to extend cooperation for apprehension of wanted criminals and fugitives and in this regard, Bangladesh home secretary once again urged for immediate tracking, arresting, and handing over the killers of the father of the nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The Indian home secretary assured that all possible assistance would be extended in this regard,” the meet-related joint statement issued here Friday said.

This was the 13th such high level talks between the two neighbours.

At the meet, R.K. Singh conveyed the Indian government’s appreciation for the cooperation extended by Bangladesh in addressing its security concerns, particularly in dealing with insurgent groups.

Both sides reiterated their commitment to act against the elements inimical to both countries. An extradition treaty between the two nations is under the works for long.

However, the joint statement did not mention anything on United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) leader Anup Chetia, who is wanted in India but is reported to be in the custody of Bangladeshi law enforcement agencies and whom India would like Bangladesh to hand over.

The two sides also agreed to hold a meeting at an early date to discuss liberalisation of visa procedures to facilitate people-to-people contact and movement of people on both sides.

Both sides discussed the ratification of the Land Boundary Agreement of 1974 by India and the protocol signed in 2011. They noted that early ratification of the same would pave the way for implementation of the provisions of the agreement and lay the long pending boundary related issues at rest.

Both sides agreed to exchange strip maps already signed in a time-bound manner.

As an additional measure for better border management, both sides agreed to revive the mechanism for regularconsultations between the deputy commissioner/magistrate of border districts for resolving local issues.

They also agreed to further intensify the activities of the different nodal points in different areas of cooperation such as human trafficking, drugs and Interpol, expressing satisfaction at the regular interaction of different bilateral mechanisms.

India has offered and Bangladesh has agreed to avail of training courses for Bangladesh police personnel in Indian institutions.

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