RAW after doom of ruling party during coming election in Bangladesh

Logo of RAW(India)By- Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

Indian intelligence agency – RAW, in its recent report has once again forecasted massive defeat of the ruling Bangladesh Awami League, during the 2014 general election in the country. It said, although Bangladesh Awami League, under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina has been exhibiting sincerity in strengthening relations with India, its popularity at home has been miserably dropping down due to series of high-profile corruptions, financial scams, campus violence, deteriorating law and order situation, suffocation of media and freedom of expression. It said, the ruling party, which even in the recent past enjoyed reasonably good relations with the Islamic political parties and fronts despite its secularist policy, some of the recent actions of Bangladesh Awami League has not only created huge gap between them and the Islamic leaders, but also giving wrong impression amongst the people, interpreting the ruling party as anti-Islam. On the other hand, continuous repression on religious minorities, including Hindus and very recent incident at the Buddhist temples at Chittagong Hill Tract areas, the religious minorities are no more feeling comfortable under the rule of Bangladesh Awami League. The vandalism on the Buddhist temples and population in the eastern part of Bangladesh has already tarnished the image of the ruling party at home and abroad.

The report said, the decline in popularity of the ruling Bangladesh Awami League is even beyond speculations, while Bangladeshi masses are openly expressing anger at the poor governance of the ruling party. Taking advantage of such situation, main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party has suddenly boosted its diplomatic efforts within and outside the country, which is clearly aimed at winning a diplomatic battle with the ruling party. While Bangladesh Nationalist Party is intensifying its diplomatic efforts, including visit of former Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia to China and her upcoming visit to India, the ruling party as well as its foreign minister is rather sitting reluctantly, as if they are prepared to accept the diplomatic defeat. Dhaka’s relations with Washington is already freezing down, which became clear when the Prime Minister’s office ignored repeated requests from the US ambassador in Bangladesh, Dan W Mozena, who had been seeking appointment to meet the Bangladeshi Prime Minister. Top brasses in the foreign ministry had reportedly suggested its staffs to refrain from showing extra importance to any of the members of the Western missions in Dhaka.

Indian intelligentsia and political pundits had been expressing concern over potential security threats to Indian soil, if Bangladesh Awami League gets defeated in the next general election, as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been taking numerous measures in uprooting anti-Indian activities within Bangladesh as well as activities of the separatist groups in India, who had been earlier using Bangladeshi soil as safe haven. During Sheikh Hasina’s current tenure, a large number of members of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), including its bigwig Arabinda Rajkhowa, had been handed over to the Indian authorities, while the Bangladeshi government is set in handing over ULFA leader Anup Chetia and two of his accomplices to India in next few weeks. It may be mentioned here that, Anup Chetia along with his accomplice Babul Sharma and Laxmi Prasad had been serving in Bangladeshi prison since 1997. Anup Chetia and two others were arrested from Dhaka by the local intelligence agency in 1997, when Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) was in power. Although Anup Chetia was arrested during BNP’s rule, it is rumored that the party had been extending support towards ULFA and other Indian separatist groups while there is also allegation of providing logistic supports by the BNP led government to these anti-Indian elements. Currently, trial into the case of recovery of a huge arms haul is continuing in Bangladeshi court, where leaders of Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami are accused of having hands behind this arms trafficking, which reached Bangladeshi soil en-route to separatist groups in the North-Eastern provinces in India. Few of the top figures of country’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies are also accused in this huge arms haul.

Earlier on December 17, 1995, western nationals were arrested when arms were being dropped from Latvian Antonov AN-26 aircraft at Indian district of Purulia in the state of West Bengal. The chief accused Kim Davy (real name Niels Holck, alias Niels Christian Nielsen) claims that it was a conspiracy of the Indian government together with RAW and MI5 to overthrow the communist government in West Bengal and he was given assurances from the central government about his safety and return to Denmark. He further alleges that MP Pappu Yadav, who is in touch with the Prime Minister of India, facilitated his safe exit from India. The crew of the aircraft consisted of five Latvian citizens and Peter Bleach, a British citizen and an ex Special Air Service operative turned mercenary who was based in Yorkshire and involved in arms dealing. However, Annie Machon, the former MI5 officer, accuses Bleach of being an MI6 agent in her book Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers. In numerous interviews, Bleach has always evaded questions on this subject and has declined to answer questions on his military background. They were arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment while alleged kingpin Niels Christian Nielsen (aka Kim Peter Davy), a Danish citizen and member of the Ananda Marga group, escaped. Later, an Interpol red notice was issued against him. Following the intervention of Russian authorities, the Latvian crew (who gained Russian citizenship while in Indian custody) were later pardoned and released in 2000. An appeal has been submitted by the pilot lawyer before the Calcutta High Court in March 2000 challenging the trial results and the judgment but it is still pending. Peter Bleach, too, was released on 4 February 2004, via a presidential pardon, allegedly due to persistent British Government pressure. In 2007 Kim Davy was traced by Denmark authorities and on April 9, 2010 Danish government decided to extradite Kim Davy to India but Danish authorities failed to successfully defend their decision in the Danish high court. The court, therefore, refused extradition of Kim Davy to India. Further, Danish authorities decided not to appeal the high court judgment to the Supreme Court.

The government in Bangladesh led by Sheikh Hasina also nabbed a number of anti-India terror outfit, including Lashkar-e-Toiba, Sipah Sahaba, Joish-e-Mohammed etc, which had been reportedly operating from within Bangladesh. Some of these terror outfits reportedly had direct links with Al Qaeda. When Bangladesh Nationalist Party led government was in power, a team of Al Qaeda clandestinely visited Bangladesh and held secret meeting with the local counterparts inside a warehouse in Ashuganj area, which is 25-30 kilometers from Indian district of Agartala. The international terror outfit Al Qaeda reportedly established connections with a number of Bangladeshi Islamist and jihadist groups. But, since Sheikh Hasina’s government came in power, jihadist operatives within Bangladesh have been significantly eliminated with the help of Indian intelligence. The Indian intelligence strongly believes that, during the rule of Bangladesh Awami League, threats to India’s domestic security from the cross-border terrorists is greatly checked. For this particular reason, Indian intelligentsia is recommending New Delhi’s direct hands in ensuring Bangladesh Awami League in continuing in the office, at least for another term, while it categorically predicts a huge political doom to the ruling party, if the election is participated by Bangladesh Nationalist Party, which may bag brute majority in the election, mostly because of anger of the voters over gross misrule of the grand alliance government led by Bangladesh Awami League.

While the possible outcome of the electoral result of 2014 polls in Bangladesh is clearly going to be unfavorable to the ruling grand alliance government, Pakistani Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) has recently intensified its activities inside Bangladesh with the ulterior motive of putting the ruling grand alliance government into further political complicities. According to sources, ISI operatives have suddenly become over-active in Bangladesh, while some of its jihadist contacts are regularly holding secret meetings possibly to finalize blueprint of anti-government sabotages in the country. Some of the ISI operatives are regularly holding meetings at Dhaka’s Banani and Dhanmondi areas, while an ISI agent with extensive connection with local Jihadist groups and fanatic clergies, is giving anti-government provocations with the instigation of unseating the current government much ahead of the next general election. The same ISI agent is also reportedly holding secret meetings with some of the retired officers of Bangladesh Army, which still is skipping attention of the Bangladeshi intelligence.

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