DAKA, Jan. 4, Reuter: India on Monday denied asking to send troops through Bangladesh territory, reacting angrily to press reports that it wanted to do so to reinforce India’s disputed Northeastern border with China.

The Indian High Commission (Embassy) described as “blatantly false” a remark last week by Deputy Prime Minister Shah Moazzem Hossain that Dhaka had refused an unnamed foreign country permission to send troops through Bangladesh,

A statement by the Commission said the reference was clearly to India and added: “We have at no time asked Bangladesh for transit facilities for our troops, and not even hinted at any such possibility”.

“If the insinuation is that such facilities are required to engage China, with which India is improving its relations, it is clearly the product of a fevered imagination”, it added.

Several Bangladeshi newspapers quoted unconfirmed reports last August that India might ask for transit facilities through Bangladesh to reinforce troops in Arunchal State as it feared a border conflict with China. India and China fought a border war in 1962.

The Indian statement also denied a remark by Hossain last week at a meeting of the ruling Jatiya Party that India encouraged political unrest in Bangladesh after the unnamed country had been refused transit permission.

Opposition political parties launched a national Campaign of strikes and demonstrations in November aimed at forcing President Hossain Mohammad Ershad’ to resign.

Article extracted from this publication >> January 8, 1988