Wed, Mar 29, 2017 | updated 02:37 PM IST

Indian authorities assure cooperation to Australian team on prevention of human trafficking, narcotics smuggling

Updated: Nov 21, 2016 18:13 IST

By Ashok Dixit

New Delhi [India], Nov.21 (ANI): A two-member delegation from Australia has been assured by their Indian counterparts here of full cooperation with regard to monitoring and sharing intelligence and other information on suspect incidents of people smuggling (human trafficking), drugs and narcotics.

Speaking to ANI here, Australian Border Force (ABF) Commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg and Major General Andrew Bottrell, Commander of Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB), said that they had a fruitful and satisfactory three-day visit to India during which they had mutually discussed and reinforced understandings on all key aspects of existing bilateral arrangements with regard to any form of trafficking or smuggling with their Indian counterparts in the Central Board of Excise (CBE), the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

Commissioner Quaedvlieg further informed that this Australian team has been on a fortnight-long tour to four out of five South East Asian and South Asian countries, including Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and India so far, and will end its tour with Sri Lanka before returning home.

He said that during his visit to India, the discussions also focused on future areas of cooperation with key stakeholders, including on issues such as maritime and or air surveillance.

Both Commissioner Quaedvlieg and Major General Bottrell used their visit to New Delhi to place significant emphasis on the fact that the current Australian government is very keen to indicate its firm resolve to maintain its "one-off arrangement" with the United States with regard to refugee resettlement from regional processing centers located in Nauru, a tiny island country in Micronesia, northeast of Australia and Manus Island, the fifth-largest island in Papua New Guinea and Cambodia.

Both said resettlement in Australia is available to only the most vulnerable, namely women, children and families who already have already been granted refugee status in the above three regional resettlement centers.

They said that any further agreement is with the United States only and will not under any circumstance be available to any future illegal maritime arrivals (IMAs) to Australia, and added that authorities in the United States will conduct their own assessment of refugees and decide which people are to be resettled in America.

They said refugees would need to satisfy standard requirements for admission into the United States, including passing health and security checks, and added that this process will take time and will be gradual.

It was stated that this arrangement is supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

"We will continue to support the Governments of Nauru and Papua New Guinea to return people determined not to be owed protection. These people should return to their country of origin," they said, adding that this one-off arrangement with the United States must not be seen as a "softening of Australia's immigration policies".

They warned and cautioned that the Australian government has taken suitable steps over the last three years to put in place both maritime and aerial assets to intercept and or return potential illegal asylum seekers back to their points of original embarkation.

As regards their India visit, they said they had come away from their meetings fully satisfied and confident that authorities in New Delhi will maintain the ongoing bilateral engagements and understandings on people smuggling (human trafficking), drugs and narcotics.

Both informed that relevant institutions in Australia are talking to Diaspora community and briefing them about the one-off agreement with the United States, and added that the Indian side has recognized this challenge before Australia, and are ready to offer cooperation to the fullest.

They made a specific mention of Tamil nationality asylum seekers based in well organized refugee/resettlement camps in Tamil Nadu.

The ABF chief confirmed that currently his force's jurisdiction covered 200 nautical miles and that the ABF and the OSB are working jointly with the Australian Navy in managing existing assets to prevent illegal entries.

The Australian government has said settlement in Australia will never be an option for those found to be refugees in regional processing centers nor for anyone who attempts to travel to Australia illegally by boat in the future.

Australia's border protection policy remains consistent and firm. Operation Sovereign Borders will continue to turn back people smuggling ventures where it is safe to do so and any illegal maritime arrivals to Australia will be sent to regional processing centers.

Under the present coalition government, Australia's borders are now stronger than ever, the two officials said. (ANI)

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): After an Aadhaar volunteer's "fan moment" after he prepared cricketer M.S. Dhoni's Aadhar card has become awkward for the government, Union Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday said Aadhar is fully safe.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): With the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls just around the corner, the Congress Party on Wednesday constituted a screening committee for the elections.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): Congress MP Veerappa Moily on Wednesday alleged that the anti-profiteering clause of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill is excessively harsh and severe and should not be taken lightly.

Full Story >>

IMD forecasts rise in temperature till May

Updated: Mar 29, 2017 14:20 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): The Indian Meteorology Department of Delhi (IMD) on Wednesday forecasted that Delhi has not witnessed heat-wave condition but the temperature in the national capital might increase till the month of May which is currently 37 degree, five degree more than what it should be.

Full Story >>

Adityanath moves into his official residence

Updated: Mar 29, 2017 13:57 IST

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday moved into his official residence at 5, Kalidas Marg in Lucknow.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): Shiv Sena MP Anandrao Adsul on Wednesday moved a notice on his colleague Ravindra Gaikwad's issue in Lok Sabha, who was barred from travelling from any flight after he hit an Air India staffer with his slipper over an argument of sitting arrangement.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): The Supreme Court will continue hearing the arguments on the Bulandshahr gang rape case on April 20.

Full Story >>

African woman slapped in Noida

Updated: Mar 29, 2017 13:31 IST

Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): Three days after four Nigerian nationals were attacked, an African woman has been allegedly thrashed in Greater Noida.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): Alleging that the youth of Kashmir have been provoked by Pakistan's terrorism, Minister of State (Mos) for Home Hansraj Ahir on Wednesday said India will not allow any violence to spread in the valley.

Full Story >>

Act against anything illegal: Baba Ramdev

Updated: Mar 29, 2017 12:40 IST

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev on Wednesday praised the Uttar Pradesh Government for its decision to close all illegal slaughter house.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday moved the four Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill in the Lok Sabha for consideration.

Full Story >>

Srinagar/New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): Condemning the recent Budgam encounter, the National Panthers Party (NPP) on Wednesday criticised Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and ¬said imposing Governor rule appears to be the only option before the administration.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday adjourned the Ganga cleaning matter for tomorrow.

Full Story >>

Centre says no proposal to enhance MPLAD fund

Updated: Mar 29, 2017 12:16 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar.29 (ANI): The Centre has no plans to increase the component of MPLAD fund, Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation D.V.Sadananda Gowda told Shimla Member of Parliament Virender Kashyap recently.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): A special NIA court in Mumbai on Wednesday adjourned the hearing on framing charges against ISIS suspect Arib Majeed till April 13.

Full Story >>

Patna (Bihar) [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): Dubbing the reports that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar may join hands with the NDA as 'impossible and baseless', the Janata Dal (United) on Wednesday said their alliance is strong and is working for Bihar's development.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): A 19-year-old Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) student from Ranchi attempted to commit suicide in wee hours of Wednesday morning by jumping from his hostel premises.

Full Story >>

Anand (Gujarat) [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): A case has been registered against the director of Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) after a professor complained of sexual harassment.

Full Story >>

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): A day after Karnataka house panel decided to form rules for media, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday said regulating media is not healthy in a democratic setup and requested the Assembly Speaker to relook into his decision.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed the plea of Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India challenging the Election Commission's decision to not allot the common symbol to contest upcoming municipal corporations elections.

Full Story >>