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Bangladesh: RAW tentacles spreading

By no cannons of law a country operating in another country by virtue of diplomatic relation could arrest a national of a third country. But India did it in Bangladesh. Indian intelligence agency RAW arrested Pakistan national Ziaur Rahman alias Waqas, an alleged operative of Indian Mujahedeen, from Dhaka airport early this month.

The arrest of Waqas became  known from a report of Times of India published on April 16 which was picked up by newspapers of Dhaka the following day. Closed to the government, officials in Delhi informed the daily of RAW success story when Waqas was transported to Delhi without any obstruction or “without leaving behind any footprints”.

India’s home-grown terrorism

Indian Mujahedeen, a home-grown terror outfit, has been actively working to radicalize Muslim youth against the state. It managed to proliferate across the country and became one of the major internal security threats facing India. Banned in 2010, Mujahedeen’s most serious attack was the 2008 Ahmedabad bombing which claimed more than 50 lives and left 200 injured. Collaborative efforts of RAW and other intelligence agencies and police led to the capture of the entire top leadership of the outfit. Its co-founder and head of operations in India Yasin Bhatkal was arrested in August 13 last year from Pokhra, Nepal.
Indian media report on April 22 said two dreaded operatives of Mujahedeen Tehsin Akhter and Waqas visited Bhubenswar, Cuttack and Puri in January last. They stayed in hotels and planned attacks in different cities of Orissa.
Times of India report claims that Waqas, a man of Pakistani intelligence agency ISI lent to Indian Mujahideen, was hiding in Bangladesh. He was supposed to fly home via Nepal. The immigration officials at Dhaka airport found that in his passport there is no stamp of his entry to Bangladesh. Sharp came RAW officials who maintain an office at the airport as part of its network across Bangladesh. From his look and stature RAW men suspected Waqas and immediately took him out of the airport and finally taken to Delhi.
The question, however, remains why our immigration officials let Waqas to RAW’s hands and how he was allowed to be taken out of Bangladesh without any obstruction? If there was any fault in his passport and found any wrongdoing, Pakistan High Commission should have been informed and actions taken in accordance with existing law. How can Indian intelligence agency arrest him and directly takes him to Delhi? Our immigration officials should not be taken as fools. They must have informed the higher authority. It is obvious that the Raw men allowed to take him out of the airport and finally out of the country under directive of the higher authority.

Eerie silence over the issue

State minister for home affairs Asaduzzaman Khan pleaded ignorance about arrest of Waqas by the RAW and how he was taken out of the country. When asked Khan stated that Indian RAW was not authorized to make such arrest in Bangladesh. Opposition BNP leader Khaleda Zia demanded of the government an explanation about Indian external intelligence agency’s operations in Bangladesh.  Other political leaders berated the government for its subservient policy towards India. But the government has so far maintained silence and made no response to the opposition demand and criticism.
It is not the first time the government denied its knowledge about the operation of RAW in Bangladesh.  In late November 2009 Raw arrested four ULFA leaders including its chairman Arvinda Rajkhowa from Chittagong. The incident was first known from reports in Assam and Delhi after they were taken across the border to Guwahati. Senior officials of Bangladesh Police, RAB and BDR denied their knowledge of it.  Report goes that hardcore ULFA leader Anup Chetia who is in Bangladesh prison had cautioned his associates hiding in Bangladesh to take shelter elsewhere. He could smell that with Awami League coming to power and forming the government would allow RAW to come in a big way and operate in Bangladesh. Paresh Baruah managed to flee but RAW was quick to hold Arvinda Rajkhowa and some other leaders of ULFA.  During the previous governments RAW operation in Bangladesh was limited. It is said that ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia had been held by RAW operatives in Dhaka city in late 1997 and attempted to take him in their custody. But special branch of police on the street immediately intervened and took Chetia from them saying “you people have no right to take Chetia in your custody”. RAW operatives did not dare to challenge the police. Chetia was produced before the court. He was finally sentenced to prison for illegal trespass into Bangladesh and possessing uauthorized foreign currencies.

CIA mole in Indian cabinet

Spy game is not new. It is one of the world’s oldest professions. Once America’s CIA had its agent in the Indian cabinet. At the height of Bangladesh’s war of independence, a record of prime minister Indira Gandhi’s talks with the Soviet ambassador landed on the table of Henry Kissinger within less than 48 hours.  CIA mole in Indira cabinet finance minister Yashwant Rao Chavan during the 1971 war leaked out the details of Indo-Soviet deliberations. India’s war objectives as elucidated by Indira Gandhi in the cabinet on December 6 (1971) before accepting a UN call for a ceasefire was also leaked to CIA.

Three objectives of the war with Pakistan were to guarantee establishment of Bangladesh, to liberate the southern part of Kashmir, and to destroy Pakistani’s armour and air forces. The final twist in the tale came in 1988 in Bombay. Now defunct newspaper The Independent carried a story reportedly based on a RAW communication to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi exonerating Morarji Desai and implicating deceased stalwart Chavan. This led to an ugly uproar and the paper’s editor Vinod Mehta had to flee Bombay. No doubt, RAW as Indian intelligence agency is very active in all its neighbouring countries. It is active in internal political affairs of the countries and support pro-Indian parties in the elections. It happened in Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. But the RAW’s plan and action failed in tiny Maldives where its operatives penetrated into the Election Commission and ‘tempered’ the last year’s election results in favour of its candidate. To the dismay of Delhi, Maldives Supreme Court had annulled the election results. The presidential candidate supported by Delhi was finally defeated in the fresh election.  RAW has now spread its tentacles all over Bangladesh. “They have infiltrated in all sectors of the administration, even in law enforcing agencies”, a mid-ranking officer of police told this scribe requesting anonymity. He had a word of caution, “the bugs you have allowed in will peel your blood to death. The day may not be far away.”

Source: Weekly Holiday – 25/04/2014

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