ULFA’s Chetia reapplies for asylum in BangladeshNovember 20th, 2011 - 9:40 pm ICT by IANS
Shillong, Nov 20 (IANS) United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) general secretary Anup Chetia, presently in a Bangladeshi jail, has once again applied to a court there for political asylum, a union home ministry official said Sunday.
“We have been informed that Chetia has once again applied for political asylum at a Bangladesh court,” Shambhu Singh, joint secretary (Northeast) in the union home ministry, told IANS.
Chetia is wanted in India for the various crimes, including murder, kidnapping and extortion. He was arrested in Assam in 1991, but was freed by the state government.
In 1997, the ULFA general secretary was arrested in Dhaka for illegally entering Bangladesh and for illegally carrying foreign currencies and satellite phone. He is under detention on completion of his jail term.
After the completion of his jail term, Chetia applied in 2008 to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees seeking political asylum in Bangladesh, contending he had been fighting for sovereign Assam.
“He is still in a Bangladesh jail and we will never let him (Chetia) flee to any other country, but bring him back to India. I don’t think any country would allow a person with such criminal background shelter on its soil,” Singh said.
Although Bangladesh never officially acknowledged handing over of the several top Indian rebels leaders to India, it is now an open secret that Dhaka facilitated their arrests by capturing them and later handing them over to Indian authorities.
Those handed over include ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, deputy commander-in-chief Raju Baruah, self-styled foreign Secretary Sasha Choudhury, finance secretary Chitraban Hazarika and other leaders of the outfit, as well as National Democratic Front of Bodoland chief Ranjan Daimary.
With India and Bangladesh agreeing to move faster on the proposed extradition treaty, Singh exuded confidence that Chetia and other Indian fugitives will be handed over to India.
“Bangladesh has expressed their inability to deport Chetia to India at this juncture due to legal hurdles, but nonetheless assured that he would be handed over to India once the extradition treaty is signed,” he said.
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Tags: anup, assam, criminal background, deputy commander, extradition treaty, finance secretary, foreign currencies, indian authorities, jail term, national democratic front, political asylum, satellite phone, shambhu, shillong, ulfa, union home ministry, united liberation front, united liberation front of asom, united nations high commissioner, united nations high commissioner for refugees