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Wanted ULFA leader could be handed over, hints Bangladesh
Published on 4 Feb. 2010 12:46 AM IST
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Bangladesh on Wednesday hinted at handing over a top jailed Indian separatist leader, but wanted New Delhi to reciprocate by deporting some of its wanted terrorists allegedly hiding in India. Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Tariq Ahmed Karim said this in response to questions at a press conference here on whether Dhaka would hand over jailed ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia, arrested in Bangladesh in 1997. “I cannot comment on whether Anup Chetia would be handed over not. But let me say, if you have got back some of the terrorists (meaning the recent handing over of ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa and three more top leaders and their family members to India), I see no reason why you cannot get others also,” Karim told journalists, a direct hint that moves are afoot to hand over the ULFA leader, now in protective custody in Bangladesh. Although Bangladesh never officially acknowledged handing over of the four top ULFA leaders, it is now an open secret that Dhaka facilitated their arrests by capturing them and later handing them over to Indian authorities. Besides Rajkhowa, ULFA deputy commander-in-chief Raju Baruah, self-styled foreign secretary Sasha Choudhury, and finance secretary Chitraban Hazarika, are in jail after they were shown as arrested by Indian authorities. The Bangladeshi envoy, however, wanted a reciprocal gesture from India. “We also should get what we want. There are a number of people whom we want and could be living somewhere in India... those people who were involved in attacking political rallies in 2004... we want them back,” Karim said. “We have made a formal plea to India to hand them back to us. The process has already started and is moving in the right direction.” Karim stressed on the need for improved bilateral and economic ties with India, especially in the northeastern region with which Bangladesh shares a common border. “We want broader economic relations, including increasing air connectivity and trade,” the envoy said.

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