India’s Border Security Force (BSF) chief KK Sharma has claimed that camps and hideouts of Indian insurgent groups on Bangladeshi soil have been reduced to almost zero because of the excellent cooperation between BSF and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) over the past few years, several Indian media outlets reported.
"Whenever we have information about exodus of insurgents of north-eastern states (sic) in Bangladesh, we share the information and immediate raids are undertaken by the BGB. As a result, the number of training places and hideouts of these insurgents have been reduced to almost zero," Sharma told Press Trust India (PTI) in an interview.
If some camps did exist still, they were of a floating nature, Sharma claimed.
The development is seen as a major victory of Indian security forces over the insurgency and terrorism situation along the Bangladesh border in the north-east.
For the past several decades, the BSF used to hand over a list of Indian insurgent and terror groups to the BGB during DG-level talks and sought action against them, a senior officer told Times of India requesting anonymity.
"The numbers of these insurgent groups used to be 150-200 every time a list was handed over to the Bangladeshi side. That situation has now changed and the groups are now on the run, without being able to stay put at a place on the other side for long," Sharma further told PTI.
According to the report, a BSF official claimed that areas like Khagrachari and Bandarban opposite Tripura and Mizoram in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) area did not have any "habitation and domination" from the BGB and insurgent groups used these places for their anti-India activities.
"With consistent pursuance during DG-level talks and at other levels, the BGB cracked down in these forests and the insurgents are now on the run," the officer told Times of India.
The officer added that the BGB had now made arrangements to have their "permanent camps" in these areas so that activities of insurgents and other criminals were checked.
Major Indian insurgent groups operating in these areas were National Liberation Front of Tripura and Manipur valley groups like Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) and United National Liberation Front (UNLF).
The officer said that in two districts of Bangladesh — Moulvibazar and Sherpur — that adjoin north Tripura and the Cachar region of Assam and Meghalaya, the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) had camps.
The BSF is tasked with guarding the 4,096km India- Bangladesh frontier.