India hands over photos of militant hideouts

India has handed over photographs of militant hideouts in Chittagong Hill tracts taken from Google Earth to Bangladesh in the recently concluded meeting between the Border Security Force and the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) in Dhaka. The pictures show tin sheds where suspected militants are said to be living, officials said.

The photos were collected by intelligence agencies and given to BSF officials when they went to Dhaka last month. The BSF also handed over a list of around 50 such hideouts, most of them in Chittagong area.

"Some of these pictures show tin sheds where the absconding militants from India are said to be hiding. They are not militant camps as such but dwellings of individuals. The photographs are of very good quality and now the Bangladesh officials would not have any reason not to believe us. Everything is displayed in the photographs, even the latitude and longitude ," said a senior official on condition of anonymity.

After the last meeting between the two forces six months ago, BGB officials had said that they could not find anything in the places identified by the Indian agencies. "The hideouts take long to be identified. Sometimes even months. By the time we get photographic evidences they dismantle the makeshift camps and disappear. Though the present regime had cracked down many hideouts and camps, we have information that they still exist," said another official. Several members of banned outfits like ULFA, GNLA, PLA, and KYKL are said to be hiding in Bangladesh.

Officials said the area's proximity to Myanmar also goes in favour of the militants. "Apart from Chittagong, there are other areas which are being used by the militants but the main action is here. The pictures even show the type of utensils being used by the militants," said the official.

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