Ties with India likely to gain strength with Hasina back in power

The recent general elections in Bangladesh, in which the Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League has regained power, has given hope for better trade, cultural and political ties between Bangladesh and India.

India and Bangladesh regularly organize cultural exchange programmes and engage in the trade of various commodities through land and water routes.

BANGLADESH_INDIAThe construction of Agartala-Akhaura railway link is underway and is expected to further boost trade and people-to-people contact, reports Business Standard.

Jayanta Bhattacharjee, an expert on Bangladesh, said: “Awami League government will at least not allow our insurgents to use their soil. That will be our benefit. Another thing is that lot of economic, political and business activities are going on between Bangladesh and northeastern region of our country. And more specifically Tripura as 856 km border with Bangladesh. So, we have lot of trade activities, cultural exchanges, lot of things are going on.”

Since Bangladesh continues to face political violence by opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) and Jamaat-e-Islami, security forces continue to remain vigilant at the border.

The Border Security Force is keeping a close watch to prevent any trans-border movement.

Sabita Sarkar, a villager, said: “The BSF is on alert so that miscreants cannot cross the border and hence security has been increased.”

Tripura shares 857 km long border with Bangladesh of which more than 85 per cent has been already fenced in order to stop cross border movement of militants, anti-social elements and smuggling.

However, according to reports, some camps of the banned NLFT militants are still present in Bangladesh, and their attempts to revive activities in Tripura are a matter of concern for the government.

India is hopeful of being able to completely eliminate militant outfits with support from the Bangladesh government.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said: “There is no doubt that we have got success but the problem of insurgency has not yet been totally ended; still in Bangladesh there are 17 to 19 camps of Tripura’s militants. The militants have become financially weak and have limited cadres. They are not able to recruit more youths.”

Political stability and prevalence of democracy in Bangladesh will help strengthen ties with India. And, the main beneficiary will be the northeastern states.