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Army will train Bangladeshi forces to combat terror

The Army will be training Bangladeshi forces in the first of its kind counter-terror and insurgency exercise to be held at the Danapur Cantonment near Patna, amid growing radicalisation and emerging terrorist groups in the neighbouring country that have a direct bearing on India's security.

The training is aimed at carrying out operations against terrorists and insurgents on the lines of those in Kashmir and India's northeast.

Starting Monday, the Army will hold the exercise with a Bangladeshi contingent till December 17. The joint exercise will have mutual benefits as both countries are facing similar threats including those from certain groups operating on both sides of the border.

Indian intelligence agencies have warned in the past about a growing collaboration between Jamat-Ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Islamic State to establish a Bangladeshi Caliphate and also target India. There have been warnings that JMB cadres active along the India-Bangladesh border could set up bases in eastern Indian states.

JMB is a banned terror outfit in India that has cadres active here. It was responsible for the bomb blasts in Burdwan in 2014, a small town in West Bengal close to the Bangladesh border.

"The shared threat to both countries and adding another facet to strategic cooperation prompted the two countries to state a training capsule prepared by the Indian Army based on our experiences in Kashmir and North East," said Army sources.

During the training, state-of-the art weapons and equipment for close-quarter battle, surveillance and tracking, explosives, IED detectors and communication equipment will be used. The Bangladesh team will train, plan and execute a series of well-developed operations for neutralising these threats.

There will also be discussions to share counter-terror operation experiences that will be mutually beneficial.

The training event will be attended by five officers and 25 other ranks of the Bangladesh Army. The Indian Army will be represented by five officers, eight Junior Commissioned Officers and 15 other jawans.

"This training capsule is one of the major training events and defence cooperation endeavours between the two Armies and will be first of its kind being organized for the Bangladesh Army at Danapur Cantonment," sources in the Army said.

The Indian Army Training team will be headed by Colonel DD Swain, an experienced counter-insurgency expert having commanded a Rashtriya Rifles Battalion in Jammu and Kashmir and operated in insurgency-affected areas of Assam and Manipur for a number of years.

The Indian Army will also get an opportunity to absorb lessons from the series of highly successful counter terror operation carried out by the security forces of Bangladesh.

The operating principles and tactics of both countries while dealing with insurgency and terrorism related incidents are also similar.


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