Anup Chetia handed over to India

anup-chatia_Daily_Dhaka_TimesDaily Dhaka Times: Leader of India’s separatist United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) leader Anup Chetia has been deported to India on Wednesday.

Ministry of home affairs informed banglanews about the development.

Alongside Anup Chetia, his two accomplices Babul Sharma and Shakti Prasad were also handed over to Indian authorities.

Later, home minister, at a press briefing, said that as the India separatist leader has already completed his sentence handed down by Bangladesh court.

He was handed over to India through its embassy, the minister added.

Regarding the ULFA leader’s writ petition with the High Court against his deportation, the minister said Anup Chetia has been deported according to his wish.

The ULFA foundering general secretary was arrested in Dhaka in 1997 and came under detention on completion of a seven-year jail term for intrusion, carrying fake passports and illegally keeping foreign currencies.

On October 23, 2013, the extradition treaty between Bangladesh and India came into effect with the handing over of the instruments of ratification of the much-awaited pact.

Chetia had been detained in Bangladesh in 1997 for illegally entering the country using a forged passport, and was found in possession of arms and foreign currencies. A Bangladesh court had then sentenced the militant leader to seven years in prison.

Here’s all you need to know about the ULFA leader
* Anup Chetia, whose real name is Golap Baruah, is a founding member of ULFA and its general secretary. He is also known as Sunil Baruah, Bhaijan or Ahmed.
* Born in Jerai Gaon in Tinsukia district of Assam, Chetia fled from India in the early 1990s. He had been arrested in March 1991, but the then Assam chief minister Hiteshwar Saikia released him from jail, following which he fled from India.
* He is among Assam’s most wanted, for crimes pertaining to murder, abductions and extortion in India. As ULFA’s top leader, his main cause was the fight for the independence of Assam.
* Chetia was arrested by Bangladesh police in December 1997 and was subsequently handed seven years of jail terms by two courts for cross-border intrusion, carrying fake passports and illegally keeping foreign currencies.
* He had sought political asylum in Bangladesh thrice in 2005, 2008 and in 2011 after his 1997 arrest.
* Despite the expiry of his 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.
* While India has been demanding his extradition for over two decades, Bangladesh has refused to do so stating the absence of an extradition treaty
* In 2013, Chetia sent out a letter to some Bangladesh media houses saying, “the government of India has repeatedly failed in its attempt to extradite me to India. But now I have decided to my own initiative to go back to Assam. How long can I live in such a state of uncertainty?”
* India has been trying to get him back in the country so that he could join the on-going peace talks between the ULFA faction led by its chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa and the GoI.
* Chetia was finally handed over to Indian officials by the Sheikh Hasina government following a written application from Chetia that he was keen to return to India.
* Chetia’s deportation follows that of underworld don Chhota Rajan, one of India’s most-wanted criminals, who was on the run for 27 years.

About Anup Chetia
Real name Golap Baruahalso 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.

Arrest
Chetia was first arrested in March, 1991 in Assam but was released by then Chief Minister Hiteswar Saikia. Later 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 in the outskirts of Dhaka.

Charges
Chetia was charged with:

  • Illegally entering Bangladesh using a forged passport
  • Possession of illegal foreign currency from 16 different countries
  • Illegal possession of arms.
  • He was also a wanted by the Assam Police for various cases including killing, kidnapping and extortion.

Extradition
Since his arrest in 1997, the Government of India has asked Bangladesh to extradite Chetia.[2][3] The request was refused by Bangladesh on the ground that the two countries do not have an extradition treaty. However, India is still hopeful that the Sheikh Hasina government would accede to the request in view of its tough resolve against terrorism. The Union Home Affairs joint secretary (north east) has recently said that Chetia will most probably be handed over to the Government of India by the Government of Bangladesh, by December 2013. After the 15th India-Bangladesh Home Secretary-level meeting at Dhaka, Bangladesh Home Affairs Secretary Mozammel Haque Khan has 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.

Seeking Political Asylum
On December 7, 2008, Chetia had written to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees urging it to grant him refugee status and political asylum in Bangladesh.[1][3] In a letter to António Guterres, head of the Geneva based UNHCR, Chetia pleaded that he had already completed seven years of imprisonment and hence was no longer a convict to be held in a jail. ULFA also appealed for political asylum in a safe country.

Present status
Although Chetia was the General Secretary of ULFA, political analysts in the region doubt his current influence within the organization.[2] On 11 November 2015, Anup was handed over by Bangladesh Government to India.

Source: Indian Express, Banglanews and Wikipedia


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