In a sensational
development, top Bangladeshi military officials have come under scanner of the
Sheikh Hasina government after Chinese boats carrying arms entered Bangladesh
waters and arms were smuggled into the country allegedly for local extremist
groups and insurgent outfits in northeast India.
ET has learnt that no less than top leadership of the coast
guard has come under scanner of Bangladesh government for its role in the alleged
smuggling case. Dhaka has apprised Delhi of the latest development and is
investigating the role of foreign powers in creating disturbance ahead of
elections in Bangladesh. Security establishments of both sides are coordinating
closely in this case.
It is understood that the smuggled arms had reached Dhaka and
may be used to create unrest ahead of elections towards the end of the year.
The first cache of arms was allegedly smuggled in December 2016 through
Chittagong port. This is reminiscent of the 2004 incident when 10 trucks of
Chinese arms meant for ULFA & other terror groups were nabbed in
Chittagong. Tareque Zia, son of then-PM Khaleda Zia, was later found to be
involved in the smuggling case.
In the new cases, when arms were smuggled or tried to be
smuggled, coast guard ships were curiously missing from the coastal waters,
raising suspicion of role of senior officers, hinted persons familiar with the
Bangladeshi officials suspect that these arms are also meant
to disturb India’s northeastern states which have witnessed peace since the
Sheikh Hasina government handed over all insurgent leaders hiding in her
country to Delhi in 2009. The Coast Guard has not yet ordered enquiry into the
smuggling incidents and this have raised suspicion about role of its leadership
in the episode.