India seeks Bhutan’s help in tackling hardline Bodo militants

New Delhi, Dec 26 (IANS) India has sought Bhutan’s assistance to tackle the hardline Bodo militant outfit which carried out massacre of over 70 tribals amid reports that its cadres could be hiding in the forests along the border.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj spoke to Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay on the issue and was assured support.
“The external affairs minister talked to Bhutanese leadership at the highest level and was assured of support,” said external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.
The government has termed the massacre of 73 tribals in Assam earlier this week by militants of a hardline faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)in Assam as an “act of terrorism”.
Asked about the possibility of Bodo militants having taken shelter in neighbouring countries, Akbaruddin said the government contacts the neighbours if there were such reports.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said Thursday that central government has taken up with Bhutan and Bangladesh the issue of militants from India’s northeast hiding there.
“We have taken up the matter with the neighbouring countries and one country has assured cooperation, and we are sure the other will also cooperate,” he had said.
Akbaruddin said that contact was being established with other countries who can help in tackling militant outfits in the northeast and the government will share the details later.
He also did not specifically answer if external affairs ministry had written to the home ministry about extraditing Purulia arms drop case accused Kim Davy.
“He is for us a terrorist who we would like extradited. We will go after anybody who has harmed security of India,” he said.
Asked about cooperation between Russia and Pakistan in energy, Akbaruddin said India and Russia have a strategic and privileged relationship.
“India and Russia have just concluded a very very successful summit where we have been assured that nothing that Russia does will adversely impact on our security concerns,” he said.
“Therefore we are confident that they will not do anything that adversely impinges on us,” he added.
Replying to another question, he said around 700 fishermen have come back from Sri Lanka since beginning of the year and efforts were being made to secure release of those left.
Asked about an Indian school teacher who was jailed in Maldives, Akbaruddin said he has been deported to India.
“We have been able to get the Maldives to release the person who has been deported,” he said, adding the teacher was back with his family.
On the Italian marines issue, he said the matter was subjudice.