New Delhi: Bangladesh has handed over United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) leader Anup Chetia to India.
Chetia, who was in Bangladesh since his arrest by that country’s police in 1997, was handed over to India on Wednesday on the personal intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and active involvement of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
Anup Chetia, whose original name is Golap Baruah and was also known as Sunil Baruah, Bhaijan or Ahmed, is the General Secretary of the banned United Liberation Front of Asom in Assam. 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. (ANI)