‘Agencies must inform Nepal before any op’

The Centre has asked all state and Central intelligence and security agencies to keep the “relevant authorities’’ in Nepal informed before carrying out any operation, including covert operations related to arrest, in their country.

Government sources said the need to send out the missive to intelligence and security agencies arose after a police team from Uttar Pradesh’s anti-terrorist squad carried out a raid in Nepal about a fortnight back in connection with a counter-terrorist operation without informing their Nepalese counterparts.
The UP ATS team claimed that they had specific information about a terrorist hiding on the outskirts of Kathmandu. However, the raid resulted in considerable embarrassment as the local residents informed the police following which Nepalese authorities brought the matter to the notice of the Indian high commission as well.
The Indian intelligence agencies are in no mood to upset Nepalese authorities particularly in view of the increased co-operation between the two countries on security issues. The arrest of some India’s top terrorists like Yasin Bhatkal, Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi and Abdul Karim Tunda is attributed to increased co-operation between the two countries. However, highly placed intelligence sources, admitted that often Indian agencies crossover into Nepal to carryout their searches and arrests without informing authorities in Nepal. Often, this is done to maintain secrecy of the operation as there is fear that vital information may get leaked out. But now all Indian agencies will have to inform Nepal authorities before carrying out any activity on their soil. To ensure smoother functioning between the two countries, Indian agencies have already asked their Nepalese counterparts to appoint a nodal officer with whom they can co-ordinate. “There is no denying that fact that utmost secrecy needs to be maintained in intelligence operations. But we also need to respect the fact that Nepal is sovereign nation. So the idea is to ensure that out work is also not hampered and the Nepalese are also kept in the loop,’’ a senior official said.

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