GUWAHATI, March 25 - The Government of India is closely monitoring the political situation in Bangladesh, which is due to go to polls later this year as a change in Government not only seriously affect the security scenario in North East region and West Bengal, but may also affect the implementation of the Act East Policy.
Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that the overall security situation in Bangladesh would always affect the North East and West Bengal because of the porous nature of the international border. The security agencies have been keenly monitoring the situation in the neighbouring country as there have been footprints of terrorist groups like Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda in Bangladesh and the possibility of elements of such outfits trying to sneak into India cannot be ruled out.
Sources revealed that a major part of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) is now partners of the IS and the Government of Bangladesh calls the unit as Neo JMB. The IS, in its mouthpiece, also mentioned several times that the JMB is a part of the outfit. On the other hand, another militant outfit Ansar Ul Bangla is a part of the Indian sub continent unit of the Al Qaeda. The presence of these outfits is a major cause of concern for India and there is every possibility elements of such outfits trying to sneak into India by taking advantage of the porous international border.
Sources admitted that the present Government in Bangladesh has been launching a crackdown against the terrorist groups and the security agencies of both India and Bangladesh are sharing information about activities and movement of such terror groups.
However, there is apprehension that the situation may change if a change of Government takes place in Bangladesh. If any Government in the neighbouring country comes to power with the support of radical groups like Islamic Chatra Sibir, Bangladesh and Jamaat-E-Islami, Bangladesh, there is every possibility that the outfits enjoying direct or indirect support from the radical groups would have a better breathing space in the neighbouring country, which, in turn, would seriously affect the overall security scenario in North East and West Bengal, sources added.
In case of a change of Government in the neighbouring country, the North East region would also suffer economically and the Act East Policy of the Government of India would be affected. Sources pointed out that the Government of Bangladesh has already agreed to allow India use of the Chittagong port, which would be of great help to the North East region for its overall economic development. But if the situation changes in Bangladesh, the North East would remain a landlocked area.
Sources pointed out that the militant groups of North East used Bangladesh as a safe haven during the tenure of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party Government in the neighbouring country and even radical elements managed to grow fast. The BNP was closer to Pakistan and that is why, the militant groups of North East came into contact with the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Dhaka during the tenure of the BNP Government. If the BNP comes to power again, India may have to suffer again and that is why the Centre is keeping a close watch on the political situation in the neighbouring country, sources added.