Dhaka expects India to hand over wanted criminals


Dhaka : After India handed over three wanted criminals to the Bangladeshi government last weekend, Dhaka hopes to get the custody of more fugitives who have reportedly been hiding in West Bengal.

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Many of the 23 criminals it seeks and has announced rewards for have either fled to other parts of India or to China, Bangladesh’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officials told the New Age newspaper.

The newspaper reported Tuesday that government officials believe the deportation of three criminals from India was the result of cooperation between the law enforcing agencies of the South Asian neighbours reinforced by political understanding.

Ties between the two countries have improved following the 14th Summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) in April and subsequent visits of Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon to Dhaka.

Last Sunday, India handed over Naimul Hasan alias Habibur Rahman Taj, Mohammad Sohel alias Ibrahim and Lombu Selim.

A Bangladesh CID official said: “It (capture of the wanted criminal) has been possible because of cooperation between the law enforcing agencies of the two countries.”

Dhaka believes that many of the country’s 23 most wanted criminals have been hiding in West Bengal. The officials have indicated the neighbourhoods where they are supposed to be staying in Kolkata and elsewhere in West Bengal.

A similar indication by the Indian authorities of the presence of militants from India’s northeastern region in Bangladesh has so far not elicited a positive response from Dhaka.

While assuring that it would not allow its territory to be used for anti-India activities, Dhaka has constantly remained in denial mode about their presence, analysts said.