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India, Bangla bid to boost economic ties

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, June 16 � Economic cooperation holds the key to improved relations between India and Bangladesh and continued cooperation is expected from the neighbouring country in dealing with the problem of insurgency in the days to come, highly placed official sources said.

Sources told The Assam Tribune that a series of meetings are being held between India and Bangladesh as confidence building measure and to finalize the modalities for greater economic cooperation, while, on the other hand, the Government of the neighbouring country assured to cooperate fully to deal with the leaders of the militant groups using the territory of the country as safe haven.

Sources said that the security forces of Bangladesh recently arrested one hardcore militant Ranju Choudhury alias Dipjyoti Mahanta, who is known to be a close aide of Paresh Baruah, the commander-in-chief of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA). The arrest of Ranju is believed to be a �prize catch� as the Indian security agencies are of the view that vital information about the activities of the ULFA C-in-C can be obtained from the arrested militant.

Ranju was arrested recently from a nursing home near Dhaka on the basis of a specific tip off given by the security agencies of India. The arrested militant is suffering from malaria and he will be handed over to India as soon as his condition improves.

However, sources admitted that the Government of India is not aware of the whereabouts of Paresh Baruah. �It is a fact that he paid a brief visit to Bangladesh recently and Ranju was with him during the visit. But Baruah is no longer in Bangladesh and the security agencies are not sure of his whereabouts. The Government of India is of the view that the ULFA leader can be in China, Myanmar, Thailand or even in Pakistan as he has good contacts in all those places,� sources added.

On the developments on the economic front, sources said that though the Governments of India and Bangladesh have agreed to introduce bus service from Guwahati to Dhaka via Shillong, finalization of the modalities would take some time and everything would depend on the improvement of the ties between the two countries. The Government of India is not in a mood to hurry things without examining all aspects including the security concerns.

Sources revealed that talks are also on between India and Bangladesh at various levels on the issue of reopening of the river routes and use of Chittagong port by India to improve connectivity of the North East region but finalization of the modalities are taking some time.

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India, Bangla bid to boost economic ties

GUWAHATI, June 16 � Economic cooperation holds the key to improved relations between India and Bangladesh and continued cooperation is expected from the neighbouring country in dealing with the problem of insurgency in the days to come, highly placed official sources said.

Sources told The Assam Tribune that a series of meetings are being held between India and Bangladesh as confidence building measure and to finalize the modalities for greater economic cooperation, while, on the other hand, the Government of the neighbouring country assured to cooperate fully to deal with the leaders of the militant groups using the territory of the country as safe haven.

Sources said that the security forces of Bangladesh recently arrested one hardcore militant Ranju Choudhury alias Dipjyoti Mahanta, who is known to be a close aide of Paresh Baruah, the commander-in-chief of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA). The arrest of Ranju is believed to be a �prize catch� as the Indian security agencies are of the view that vital information about the activities of the ULFA C-in-C can be obtained from the arrested militant.

Ranju was arrested recently from a nursing home near Dhaka on the basis of a specific tip off given by the security agencies of India. The arrested militant is suffering from malaria and he will be handed over to India as soon as his condition improves.

However, sources admitted that the Government of India is not aware of the whereabouts of Paresh Baruah. �It is a fact that he paid a brief visit to Bangladesh recently and Ranju was with him during the visit. But Baruah is no longer in Bangladesh and the security agencies are not sure of his whereabouts. The Government of India is of the view that the ULFA leader can be in China, Myanmar, Thailand or even in Pakistan as he has good contacts in all those places,� sources added.

On the developments on the economic front, sources said that though the Governments of India and Bangladesh have agreed to introduce bus service from Guwahati to Dhaka via Shillong, finalization of the modalities would take some time and everything would depend on the improvement of the ties between the two countries. The Government of India is not in a mood to hurry things without examining all aspects including the security concerns.

Sources revealed that talks are also on between India and Bangladesh at various levels on the issue of reopening of the river routes and use of Chittagong port by India to improve connectivity of the North East region but finalization of the modalities are taking some time.