From: Habib Yousafzai <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 2:54 AM
Subject: [bangla-vision] Bangladesh to hand over detained ULFA leader to India
To: Bangla-Vision <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Bangladesh Zindabad <Bangladesh-Zindabad@yahoogroups.com>, Badrul Islam <email@example.com>
Bangladesh to hand over detained ULFA leader to India
Dhaka, Aug 3: Bangladesh is likely to soon hand over detained key ULFA leader Anup Chetia to India, which has been pressing for his repatriation for a long time.
Home Minister Sahara Khatun stated this today, close on the heels of her Indian counterpart P Chidambaram's visit here during which he had asked Bangladesh to hand over the ULFA General Secretary "as early as possible".Her comments also came ahead of the September visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Bangladesh.
"I don't think there is any obstacle in handing him (Chetia) over to India ... But definitely there are procedures in extraditing someone who is in jail," Khatun told PTI.
Asked what legal procedure would allow Dhaka to hand over Chetia to India in the absence of an extradition treaty, Khatun said "I can't explain to you the details right this moment but I can tell you both Bangladesh and India could exchange the people wanted in their own country maintaining the legal procedures."
"Mr Chetia has expired his term in jail in Bangladesh ... still he is in jail and some procedures will have to be followed to return him," Khatun said. Chetia was arrested in Bangladesh in 1997 and is under detention on completion of his jail term for cross-border intrusion.
Indian authorities have given to Dhaka a list of 50 of their nationals, who are now allegedly hiding or detained in Bangladesh, seeking their return. "Anup Chetia's name is on the top of the list," Home Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder told newsmen.
The issue of Chetia's repatriation also figured during External Affairs Minister S M Krishna's visit here last month. Bangladesh has also handed over to India a list of 100 people, including two absconding convicted killers of 'Bangabandhu' Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founder of this country, and some accused in a grenade attack on an Awami League rally.
Besides, a Bangladeshi court recently issued an arrest warrant against ULFA's armed wing chief Paresh Barua to face a trial in a case related to a 2004 weapon haul when the outfit tried to smuggle in 10 truck loads of arms to their hideouts through Bangladeshi territory. Several other ULFA leaders, including their chief Arbind Rajkhowa, were reportedly arrested in Bangladesh and subsequently handed over to India in recent years. Dhaka has, however, not officially confirmed this.
In a statement in December last year, ULFA had appealed to Bangladesh to stop the "crackdown" against the outfit, asking the ruling Awami League of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to understand its spirit for "independence."