Prime Minister Narendra Modi today had a meeting with his visiting Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina…
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday thanked his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina for facilitating the extradition and handover of United Liberation Front of Asom militant and leader Anup Chetia.
“PM @narendramodi spoke to Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina. He wished PM Hasina on Diwali & thanked her for the help in fighting terrorism,” the Prime Minister’s office said in a tweet. Earlier, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju dubbed Chetia’s deportation to India as a major breakthrough which would help in cracking many important terror-related cases. “This is a major breakthrough that the Bangladesh Government has decided to hand over ULFA leader Anup Chetia to India. This will lead to cracking of many cases, would like to thank Bangladesh Prime Minister and the government for finally heeding to our demands” Rijiju told ANI here.
“This has been a long standing demand of ours that Anup Chetia be handed over to India and lastly it has become a reality. Anup Chetia is a senior leader of ULFA and his custody would mean that we can crack some of important cases in which investigation is going on,” he added. When asked if the investigation would be done by the Central agency, Rijiju said that the case would be investigated by both the central agency and Assam Police.
“Because there are many cases against him but most of the cases are north-east based,” he added. Responding on a question of Chetia being brought to Delhi for investigation, Rijiju said that it was for the agencies to decide. Anup Chetia, whose original name is Golap Baruah and was also known as Sunil Baruah, Bhaijan or Ahmed, is the General Secretary of ULFA. He is also one of the founder leaders of the group. He was born at Jerai Gaon in Tinsukia district of Assam.
Chetia was first arrested in March, 1991 in Assam but was released by then Chief Minister Hiteswar Saikia. On December 21, 1997, he was again arrested in Dhaka under the Foreigners Act and the Passports Act for illegally carrying foreign currencies and a satellite phone. He was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment by a Bangladeshi court and was being held at Kashimpur Jail located on the outskirts of Dhaka.
Chetia was charged with illegally entering Bangladesh using a forged passport; possession of illegal foreign currency from 16 different countries and illegal possession of arms. He was also a wanted by the Assam Police for various cases, including killing, kidnapping and extortion. Since his arrest in Dhaka in 1997, the Indian Government had been asking the Bangladesh Government to extradite Chetia.
Dhaka had earlier refused to entertain New Delhi’s request on grounds that the two countries did not have an extradition treaty. After the 15th India-Bangladesh Home Secretary-level meeting at Dhaka, Bangladesh Home Affairs Secretary Mozammel Haque Khan had confirmed that Bangladesh has agreed to hand over Anup Chetia to India, which will send back Nur Hossain, prime accused in a case of seven murders in Narayanganj.
Despite the expiry of his prison term, Chetia was in jail under a 2003 High Court directive asking authorities to keep him in safe custody until a decision was taken on his asylum plea.