India-B'desh talks begin; terrorism dominates agenda
The two-day Home Secretary-level talks between India and Bangladesh began on 5th Dec in Delhi. Anti-terrorism cooperation, intelligence input sharing, curbing cross-border smuggling dominated the discussions. India's Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Mozammel Haque Khan and their teams would engage in the intense discussions to strengthen the anti-terrorism mechanism. The last such meeting was held in Dhaka in November'15.
Bangladesh may seek India's help to nab wanted criminals
Increasing terror activities of the Islamic State in the subcontinent and the growing presence of Jihadi outfits in Bangladesh, as well as some places in India, would be discussed. Also, measures to tackle such activities is on the agenda. Bangladesh may seek India's help in capturing its most wanted criminals, including those involved in war crimes and Bangladesh founder Sheikh Mujibur Rehman's assassination.
Dhaka terror attack
Both India and Bangladesh are expected to exchange notes about the developments and investigations following the 1 July terror attack at a cafe in Dhaka. Bangladesh has been on edge ever since the terror attack.
Cross-border smuggling likely to be discussed
India and Bangladesh are likely to discuss smuggling through the "porous" Indo-Bangladesh Border. They are also expected to find out ways to flag the menace. The border is used as a route for smuggling food, livestock, drugs, medicines, arms, fake currency notes, etc.; illegal Bangladeshi immigrants cross the border to enter India. To control the illegal immigration, India enforced the shoot-on-sight policy in 2011.
Smuggling of fake Indian currency notes
Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetization move, smuggling of fake Indian currency notes has sharply declined, along the India-Bangladesh Border. The smuggling, on the rise over the past eight years, came down from Rs.2.87 crore in 2015 to Rs.1.53 crore in 2016, so far.
The controversial Mumbai-based Islamic preacher, Zakir Naik
India had acted against the controversial Mumbai-based Islamic preacher, Zakir Naik, after Bangladeshi newspaper 'Daily Star' reported that one of the Dhaka terror attack perpetrators, Rohan Imtiaz, ran propaganda on Facebook quoting Naik. Naik is famous in Bangladesh through Peace TV; his preachings often demean other Muslim sects and religions. The televangelist has not returned to India after the controversy came to light.
Zakir Naik, banned in Canada, UK and Malaysia
Zakir Naik, who is currently abroad, is banned in Canada and the UK for his hate speech against religions other than Islam. He is also among the 16 Muslim scholars banned in Malaysia.
Bangladesh assures India of its "zero tolerance" policy against terrorism
Before the talks, Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid assured India of the country's "zero tolerance" policy against terrorism. Hamid sought expanded military ties when Manohar Parrikar was in Bangladesh; Parrikar became the first Indian Defence Minister to visit Bangladesh in 45 years. He urged Parrikar to send more army officials to Bangladesh for training and boost the armed forces ties between India and Bangladesh.