Days after India issued a note verbale and expressed extreme displeasure at three forest officers of Meghalaya being taken hostage by the Bangladesh Rifles, Bangladesh has decided to drop cases against the trio and release them.
Three officers led by Forester Moses Lyngdoh had accidentally crossed into a Bangladeshi enclave in Lalakhol in Meghalaya when they were taken hostage by Bangladesh Rifles. The others arrested were Woldis Swear and Ram Pohlong.
The Border Security Force—which guards the Indo-Bangla border—had immediately intervened and sought their release. Though Bangladesh had initially agreed to release the foresters they later did a volte face and argued that the three officers would be tried in Bangladesh. They had also claimed that the Indians were carrying weapons and had deliberately crossed over with hostile intentions.
Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran summoned the Bangladeshi High Commissioner and issued a note-verbale when the existing mechanism of dispute resolution between the two countries did not yield any results.
Senior officials told The Indian Express that Bangladesh had reconsidered their decision and informed the government that the three officers would be released immediately. They are likely to handed over to the BSF within this week. However, Indian officials said that no date for the handing over have yet been fixed.