Dacca fighting New Delhi’s war too

Dacca’s sincerity against terror can be discerned also in its cooperation with India in the wake of the October 2 grenade explosion in Burdwan.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he gives a speech in front of students at the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo. (photo credit: REUTERS)
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he gives a speech in front of students at the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
One of the recurrent themes in talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and world leaders is: build trust and partnership to fight Islamist terrorism together. I hope not only other governments but also the current dispensation in New Delhi would be serious about fighting this evil.
Frankly speaking, New Delhi, too, has so far been a terrible defaulter in the matter, at least in so far as fighting the evil together with Dacca is concerned. The other day Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina lamented in an interview with a  Kolkata-based Bengali newspaper: “ Bangladesh’s terrorists are getting sanctuary in West Bengal and hatching a conspiracy against the government…. We have destroyed the bases of the anti-Indian terrorists from our soil. We have kept our promises, we have not spared anybody… Now it is India’s turn… India needs to take action to destroy Bangladeshi militants operating from India much in the same way as Indian militants have been obliterated from Bangladesh’s soil…..”
There is a lot of substance in what Prime Minister Hasina said in the interview. It is well established that the determination of the Dacca dispensation in flushing out anti-India terrorists has been firm throughout. In September 2008 India and Bangladesh condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reaffirmed their commitment not to allow their territory to be used for any activity inimical to each other’s interests.  India’s Border Security Force (BSF) and the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) had an agreement on joint patrolling to curb trans-border terrorism. Dacca has been committed to honoring its part.
Dacca’s sincerity against terror can be discerned also in its cooperation with India in the wake of the October 2 grenade explosion in Burdwan (West Bengal). Dacca has extended full assistance to India’s National Investigation Agency in the case. As part of  its ongoing drive against extremists, its  elite Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recently  arrested the main coordinator of JMB and his four associates in northern Sirajganj. 
In contrast, recent  reports on the ongoing investigations of  India’s National Investigation Agency on the Burdwan blast make it crystal clear that India has increasingly become a safe haven for the Islamist militancy directed against Bangladesh. The investigations reveal the two people killed in the blast were Bangladeshis and members of the outlawed militant outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) who had been planning to go after Dacca.
New Delhi under Prime Minister Modi must take to self-introspection and ensure that it does not conduct itself in a manner detrimental to the path of stability and progress the current dispensation in Dacca has chosen. Ever since she came to power in 2009,  Bangladesh Prime Minister Hasina has, true to her land’s liberal composite tradition, been tough to those who have distorted the religion of Islam to serve their own petty interests.
In view of the barbarian role Jamaat-e-Islami has played in this regard throughout its history, her government’s focus has been to sideline this outfit completely and create an environment of peace and stability for the multi-faceted development of the country. In August 2013 the Bangladesh Supreme Court declared Jamaat-e-Islami illegal. Under the International Crimes Tribunal in 2010 her government began prosecution of war crimes committed by the leaders of Jammat-e-Islami who were associated with  Al Badr, a force created by the Pakistan Army to silence the Bangla movement for independence in the 70s.  
Feeling the heat of  the Hasina government’s action against such forces, many of the terrorists allied to them have been crossing over to India. These militants have reportedly been using Bandarban and Chittagong as launch pads to set up modules in India. They land first in Madhyan Gram, train locals there and send them over to West Bengal, Meghalaya and Assam to set up terror modules. The splinter groups working for the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh include: Ansarulla Bangla, Jamayatul Muslimeen, Hepajat Islam and the Tanzim Tamiruddin. The Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh has established three cells in the Malda, Nadia and Murshidabad districts of West Bengal with 100 full time operatives. These cells are being used to smuggle explosives and weapons into Bangladesh.
It is heartening to hear New Delhi is now being serious about its part in flushing out the anti-Bangla terrorists from its soil. It has also started sharing crucial information with Dacca to eliminate the latter’s terror outfits. According to reports, India’s National Investigation Agency has made a major headway in the Burdwan case by arresting JMB's chief commander for the Burdwan module (a Bangladeshi national) and two others who allegedly procured explosives and motivated youth for terror groups. A four-member team headed by  Agency Director General Sharad Kumar has visited Dacca and  provided some names and phone numbers in this connection to its security agencies.
New Delhi must proceed with its current efforts to help Dacca fight more effectively Islamist terrorism in Bangladesh. In India there are elements who seem to think these militants are Bangladesh-specific alone. It is time such elements realized Islamist terrorists are not specific to one nation. These terrorists are united together with their counterparts elsewhere in a totalitarian Wahhabist view of human civilization. Their big plan in the Indo-Bangla region today is said to be establishing a greater radical Islamist Bangladesh comprising Bangladesh and India’s West Bengal. As such Dacca is fighting New Delhi’ terror war too. If New Delhi does not act in time, its own secular democracy might be at stake.  
The author is a senior Indian journalist based in New Delhi