Top agenda for the Indo-Bangla home secretary-level talks, beginning tomorrow, would be cattle smuggling and illegal infiltration. The talk comes days after deportation of ULFA leader Anup Chetia from the neighbouring country.
According to reports, union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi is expected to raise the issue of cattle smuggling to Bangladesh with his counterpart Mohammad Haque Khan while Bangladesh may raise the recent issue of killing of its citizens during cross-border firing by India’s border security force. Mehrishi is also expected to seek cooperation from that country to completely halt the smuggling.
Smuggling of cattle to Bangladesh, according to an official estimate, has been reduced by more than 70%, resulting in a sharp increase in the price of beef in Bangladesh.
During the two-day talks, the Indian delegation is also likely to raise the issue of illegal infiltration from Bangladesh and explore ways how to check it. The BJP, before coming to power, had made it as an election issue.
Even as the BSF has said that the firing has been result of its attempt to curb cattle smuggling on the directions of the Centre. Dhaka may discuss the issue of construction of border outpost near the Tripura border as agreed during the last bilateral talks between the two home secretaries.
To build the outpost along the Tripura border, India had agreed to help Bangladesh on their side. Since the are is unapproachable from its own territory, Bangladesh has sought permission to bring engineers, raw material and workers through Indian soil.
In September, Home minister Rajnath Singh had said that about 20-22 lakh cattle used to be smuggled every year to Bangladesh and it has come down to 2 to 2.5 lakh cattle this year.