NEW DELHI/DHAKA, Jan 18 (IANS) India and Bangladesh Tuesday began a two-day security meeting to discuss cooperation on sharing terror related information, firing incidents along the border and exchange of prisoners as New Delhi pressed for extradition of a top ULFA leader.
The meeting in Dhaka began with joint secretary-level talks at the Bangladesh-India joint working group on security-related issues.
The talks at the Dhaka Sheraton hotel started around 10.30 a.m. which would be followed by the home secretary-level meeting Wednesday between Indian Home Secretary GK Pillai and his Bangladeshi counterpart Abdus Sobhan Sikdar.
Bangladesh's online newspaper bdnews24.com citing home ministry officials in Dhaka said the two sides discussed "preventive measures for killings along border, resolution of border disputes, exchange of prisoners, and various other bilateral issues at the meeting".
Joint secretary of the Bangladesh home ministry Kamaluddin Ahmed is leading the Bangladesh delegation, while joint secretary (northeastern region) Shambhu Singh is heading the Indian delegation at the meeting.
According to home ministry sources in New Delhi, India is pressing for early handing over of Arun Chetia, a jailed leader of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), a militant outfit in Assam that has expressed its willingness to start a peace dialogue with the government.
India is expecting Chetia, who is in a Bangladesh prison, to take part in the peace process after ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa formally wrote to Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi expressing a desire to hold peace talks.
Chetia was arrested in Bangladesh in 1997 and has completed his jail term.
The sources said the two sides are also discussing how to improve a bilateral mechanism on intelligence sharing to check activities of terror outfits.
During the home secretary-level talks Wednesday, the sources said, Bangladesh is expected to bring to the notice of the Indian delegation the firing incidents on the border.
Sikdar last week told the media in Bangladesh that "our main focus will be the non-stop killing of Bangladeshi citizens around the borders".
India shares an over 4,000 km-long border with Bangladesh and has deployed Border Security Force personnel to check infiltration and smuggling of goods and illegal immigration from across the boundary.
The last home secretary-level meeting between the two countries was held in 2009 in New Delhi.