DHAKA, June 6, Reuter: Dhaka has again urged New Delhi to cooperate in the return of thousands of Bangladeshi refugees from India, a foreign ministry spokesman said.

He said their repatriation could be speeded up if India stopped what it called: “Tendentious propaganda about the Chittagong Hill tracts”, where most of the refugees came from.

He said Dhaka had offered to let refugee leaders visit southern Bangladesh to see for themselves that conditions were peaceful there.

“We feel the two governments should be equally responsible to see an end to this vexed problem”, the spokesman told journalists after the Bangladesh government announced that another round of repatriation talks had ended inconclusively last month.

The refugees, mostly from the Chakma tribe, fled to the neigh boring Indian State of Tripura when the outlawed “Shanti Bahini” (Peace Force) guerrillas stepped up their insurgency in the 14,200 sq. km (5,500 miles) region of hills and jungle.

The Shantis want autonomy for the area and demand expulsion of all nontribal settlers. More than 1,200 people have died during the 14year rebellion.

Bangladesh says about 29,900 Chakmas have crossed to India. India says the Tripura refugee camp population is 49,000.

Article extracted from this publication >>  June 12, 1987