PM Modi, Sheikh Hasina Likely To Discuss Teesta Water Sharing, Rohingya

The talking points between PM Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina could focus on the Teesta river water sharing treaty and the Rohingya issue

PM Modi, Sheikh Hasina Likely To Discuss Teesta Water Sharing, Rohingya

PM Narendra Modi will meet with Bangladesh's Sheikh Hasina in West Bengal today (File)

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet today at Shantiniketan on the campus of the university founded by Rabindranath Tagore. And sharing the dais with them will be West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The event is being labelled as a cultural meeting. But Ms Hasina's visit comes ahead of general election in her country in six months or so.

The talking points between the leaders could focus on the Teesta river water sharing treaty that has been hanging fire for years, and the Rohingya refugee problem. Myanmar says it will take back the 10 lakh refugees now living in Bangladesh. Dhaka wants New Delhi to press Myanmar to keep its word.

India has strongly opposed the entry of Rohingya in the country for security reasons. Earlier this week, non-profit group Amnesty released a report claiming that the armed group ARSA had killed 99 Hindus in a single day in Myanmar in August last year.

It was in August 2017 that ARSA also allegedly killed a dozen security officials in the Rakhine state, prompting the Myanmarese crackdown on Rohingya and sparking the exodus. More issues may come up during the discussions at Shantiniketan today.

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The other programmes include the convocation of the central university Visva Bharati, whose chancellor is PM Modi, and the inauguration of Bangladesh Bhavan built by the Hasina government. The facility houses a library, seminar halls and an auditorium.

Sheikh Hasina will fly back to Kolkata in late afternoon. She will have dinner with Ms Banerjee at the Raj Bhavan.

PM Modi has skirted a request to award Visva Bharati's highest award, the Deshikottam, to seven people suggested by the university. No official reason has been offered. People familiar with the matter said the inclusion of artist Jogen Chowdhury, who is also a Trinamool parliamentarian, may have been a thorny issue. Actor Amitabh Bachchan was also recommended for the award.