Indian media report warrants no response: foreign ministry

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:30, Mar 21,2018 | Updated: 00:51, Mar 21,2018


The foreign ministry said on Tuesday that Indian media report claiming smuggling of arms by Chinese boats into Bangladesh did not warrant any official response.
‘The report deserves no response,’ foreign ministry’s external publicity wing director general M Delwar Hossain told New Age on Tuesday.
A senior Bangladesh diplomat said that the report was published as a part of campaign by Indian intelligence agencies involving
Bangladesh using a section of Indian newspapers.
‘Chinese boats’ carrying arms reportedly entered coastal waters in Chittagong in December 2016 prompting the Bangladesh government keeping surveillance on a section of Coast Guard officials, according to a report published in Indian newspaper The Economic Times on March 19.
The arms were smuggled into Bangladesh through Chittagong Port area allegedly by local extremist groups and insurgent outfits in northeast India, it said.
‘Security establishments’ of India and Bangladesh were coordinating closely about the consignment which was smuggled through Chittagong port area for creating unrest ahead of the next general elections scheduled by the end of this year.
The coast guard ships were not on the coastal waters in the area when the consignment was transferred, the report claimed.
A section of the arms were also meant for India’s north-eastern states which were enjoying peace thanks to support of the Bangladesh government with handing over to Indian authorities insurgent leaders hiding in Bangladesh since 2009, the report said.
All senior officers of Bangladesh Coast Guard are brought on deputation from Bangladesh Navy, it added.
When asked about the reported surveillance involving alleged smuggling through coastal area, Inter Services Public Relation Directorate director Lt Col Alamgir Kabir said told New Age that the matter had no relation with the armed forces.
Bangladesh Coast Guard director general did not reply to e-mailed questions about the allegations involving the force.
New Age also drew attention of Bangladesh high commissioner in New Delhi Syed Muazzem Ali about the alleged transfer of arms and subsequent developments. He too did not reply.
Bangladesh high commissioner minister (press) Farid Hossain said that the high commission was aware of the report published in the Indian newspaper. ‘We have nothing to say,’ he said. 

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