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Indo-Bangladesh border fence to speed up

Dec. 17, 2008 at 7:16 AM   |   Comments

NEW DELHI, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- India's home minister said Wednesday the government will speed up the fencing of its 2,500-mile border with Bangladesh for increased security.

Speaking in the upper house of Parliament, Palaniappan Chidambaram, who was appointed to his new post after the Nov. 26 Mumbai terror massacre, said India is convinced terrorists are finding shelter in Bangladesh, the Press Trust of India reported. Bangladesh has denied the charge.

Chidambaram said the government is not satisfied with the progress made so far in the fence project and will take steps to "quicken the process," the report said.

Before it became an independent state in 1971, Bangladesh was the eastern wing of Pakistan. The current military-backed interim government has ruled the country under an emergency decree for nearly two years but lifted the decree this week to allow elections to proceed on Dec. 29.

Chidambaram was quoted as saying India will take up the issue of the alleged terrorist shelter when a new government takes over in Bangladesh.

The fence is also designed to keep out thousands of illegal immigrants coming into India's sensitive eastern areas. India has said there are already millions of Bangladeshi illegal immigrants in the country.

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