India ready to help Bangladesh in nabbing Mujib killersBy IANS
Thursday, January 20, 2011
DHAKA - India Thursday assured Bangladesh of full cooperation in apprehending two men who are said to be hiding in India after being convicted of killing Bangladesh’s former president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The assurance came from Indian Home Secretary G.K. Pillai who called on Bangladesh’s Home Minister Sahara Khatun. Pillai was here for two-day official-level talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart Abdus Sobhan Sikdar.
Sheikh Mujib, the former president who is popularly known as Bangabandhu, was killed along with most of his family members in a military coup Aug 15, 1975.
The government of his daughter, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is pursuing the case vigorously. Five of the killers were convicted and hanged last year, while six are absconding.
After meeting Pillai, Sahara Khatun told reporters: “We have information that two sentenced accused of Bangabandhu murder case - Risalder Moslem Uddin and Abdul Majed - are hiding in India.”
She said India was given “red corner notice” to return them. “India has pledged to provide wholehearted support in this regard,” she was quoted as saying by bdnews24.com, an online newspaper.
Pillai promised “wholehearted support” to Bangladesh in its quest to bring the Mujib killers to book.
Of the two killers, Moslem Uddin was reportedly spotted by the police in West Bengal state bordering Bangladesh some years ago. However, he made good his escape before he could be nabbed.
Pillai reiterated India’s commitment of “zero tolerance” towards deaths of Bangladeshi civilians along the border.
Referring to the recent killing of Bangladeshi girl Felani, Pillai said a court of inquiry has been set up to probe the incident and action would be taken as per the recommendations of the body.
According to media reports here, the girl was returning home with her family from Delhi and was caught in the barbed wire fencing while the family was crossing the border during the wee hours.
The issue became contentious and Bangladesh lodged a strong protest before the officials began their talks.
Bangladesh accuses the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) of shooting down civilians. The BSF says its men fire in “self-defence” as those crossing the border bypassing official entry/exit points are armed.
Pillai told a joint press conference with Abdus Sobhan Sikdar that the number of deaths in the frontier areas had decreased of late.
Sikdar said all the border and security related issues were discussed in the meeting and both the sides are working sincerely to resolve the ongoing problems within a shortest possible time.
The South Asian neighbours have a 4,300-km border along which smuggling of humans, cattle, arms and drugs is rampant.