Tue, May 23, 2017 | updated 10:19 PM IST

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

Updated: Nov 21, 2016 18:13 IST      
Indian authorities assure cooperation to Australian team on prevention of human trafficking, narcotics smuggling

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)

Separatist leader Geelani slams 'glorification' of Maj. Gogoi

Updated: May 23, 2017 22:02 IST     

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], May 23 (ANI): Kashmiri separatist leader and chief of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani has strongly criticised the Centre over the glorification of Major Leetul Gogoi, who tied a man to a jeep in Kashmir purportedly as a 'human shield' against stone-pelters.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], May 23 (ANI): Clearing the air after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Alka Lamba courted controversy when she climbed onto a crane to take stock of the rescue operations by fire fighters in Delhi's Chandni Chowk area, Director Delhi Fire Services, G.C. Mishra asserted that Lamba's only motive was to control the situation.

Full Story >>

Guwahati (Assam) [India], May 23 (ANI): The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Court in Guwahati on Tuesday sentenced three convicts of the Dima Hasao terror funding case to life imprisonment and awarded eight to 12 years' imprisonment to 11 others convicted in the case.

Full Story >>

Budgam (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], May 23 (ANI): After the Jammu and Kashmir Police refused to quash the First Information Report (FIR) against him for tying a man to the bonnet of his jeep to serve as a 'human shield', Major Leetul Gogoi on Tuesday defended his act by saying that he took the step "to save the people trapped in the polling booth."

Full Story >>

Proud of Indian Army's valour: BJP

Updated: May 23, 2017 20:23 IST     

New Delhi [India], May 23 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was all praises for the valour of the Indian Army after it announced that punitive fire assaults were being undertaken across the Line of Control (LoC) to counter terrorist action from Pakistan asserting that these strikes were meant to prohibit infiltrations at LoC and that it is proud of the Army.

Full Story >>

Controversial spiritual leader Chandraswami passes away

Updated: May 23, 2017 19:34 IST     

New Delhi [India] May 23 (ANI): Controversial spiritual guru Chandraswami passed away on Tuesday due to renal failure at the age of 66.

Full Story >>

BSF seizes snake venom worth Rs. 12 crore

Updated: May 23, 2017 19:30 IST     

South Dinajpur (West Bengal) [India], May 23 (ANI): The Border Security Force (BSF) has seized snake venom worth Rs. 12 crore from South Dinajpur, West Bengal.

Full Story >>

Mayawati holds BJP responsible for Dalit-Rajput violence

Updated: May 23, 2017 19:30 IST     

Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh) [India], May 23 (ANI): Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) Chief Mayawati on Tuesday exhorted all sections of the society to live in harmonious environment and alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wanted to disturb the harmony among various sections of the society.

Full Story >>

Ootacamund (Tamil Nadu) [India], May 23 (ANI): President of India Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday addressed the 159th founder's day celebrations of the Lawrence School Lovedale at Ootacamund.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], May 23 (ANI): Strongly reacting to the report of denial of entry to a senior retired Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officer by the Canadian authorities, the Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday said that it had taken up the matter with Canada Government.

Full Story >>

Maj. Gogoi defends his act, says took step to save locals

Updated: May 23, 2017 18:43 IST     

New Delhi [India], May 23 (ANI): After the Jammu and Kashmir Police refused to quash the First Information Report (FIR) against him for tying a man to the bonnet of his jeep to serve as a 'human shield', Major Leetul Gogoi on Tuesday defended his act by saying that he took the step "to save the local people."

Full Story >>

Lalu Yadav's daughter's CA sent to three-day ED custody

Updated: May 23, 2017 18:31 IST     

New Delhi [India], May 23 (ANI): Delhi's Patiala House Court on Tuesday granted a three-day Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad's daughter Misa Bharti's Chartered Accountant (CA) Rajesh Agarwal in a money laundering case.

Full Story >>

Patna (Bihar) [India], May 23 (ANI): Following the verdict in the 2005 Ashok Singh murder case, wife of deceased Ashok Singh, Chandni Singh on Tuesday asserted that she was not totally satisfied with the decision even as they demanded death sentence for the accused.

Full Story >>

Mumbai(Maharashtra) [India], May 23 (ANI): While praises are pouring in for the Indian Army for carrying out the 'punitive fire assault' on the Pakistan posts, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Tuesday said it was not a befitting reply, but a mere "small action."

Full Story >>

Centre applauds Indian Army's attack on Pak posts in Nowshera

Updated: May 23, 2017 18:08 IST     

New Delhi [India], May 23 (ANI): Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday applauded the Indian Army attack on Pakistan posts along the Line of Control (LoC ) in the Nowshera sector of Jammu and Kashmir and said the Army is taking pre-emptive and measured actions to counter terrorism in the valley.

Full Story >>

Assault on Pak posts sends strong message: Defence experts

Updated: May 23, 2017 17:54 IST     

Nagpur/Bhopal/Chandigarh [India], May 23 (ANI): The defence experts on Tuesday hailed the punitive fire assault on the Pakistan posts by the Indian Army, citing it would send out a strong message to Islamabad to stop unprovoked ceasefire violations and firing across the border.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], May 23 (ANI): Congress leader Randeep Surjewala on Tuesday praised the valour and courage of the Indian Army and asked the government to wake up from its "slumber and come to the assistance of our brave soldiers."

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], May 23 (ANI): The Pakistan Army on Tuesday refuted the attack on Islamabad's posts in the Nowshera sector of Jammu and Kashmir, which the Indian Army earlier in the day said it carried out on May 9.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], May 23 (ANI): The Patiala House Court on Tuesday summoned Congress leader Jagdish Tytler after noting that he got his passport renewed by providing incorrect information stating that he didn't have any pending criminal cases against him.

Full Story >>

Hoist Tiranga in Lahore, says Shiv Sena post Army assault

Updated: May 23, 2017 16:49 IST     

Mumbai(Maharashtra) [India], May 23 (ANI): The Shiv Sena on Tuesday lauded the 'punitive fire assault' on the Pakistan posts by the Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir's Nowshera district saying that the army should now hoist the'Tiranga'(Indian Tricolour) in Lahore to a give befitting reply to the unprovoked ceasefire violations.

Full Story >>