Separatist ULFA leader Anup Chetia, lodged in Dhaka jail for the past 17 years, will be extradited to India “very soon”, Bangladesh’s top Home Ministry official said as the Home secretary-level talks between the two countries ended here today.
“We have expressed our willingness to return him…He will be returned very soon,” Home Secretary Mozammel Haque Khan told reporters after meeting his Indian counterpart Anil Goswami.
His comments came a day after the official-level meeting of the two countries decided that Chetia would be returned under a special mechanism beyond an existing extradition treaty.
Bangladesh Home Ministry Additional Secretary Kamaluddin Ahmed had yesterday said that extradition of Chetia has nothing to do with the case of Bangladeshi absconder Nur Hossain, the prime suspect in a multiple-murder case, who was arrested by West Bengal police recently.
Haque today said Dhaka, however, expects to get Hossain back home “quickly” as “we gave them (New Delhi) the papers which they sought to initiate the repatriation process”.
He said the Indian side assured them to take steps for his immediate extradition.
The long-pending issue of the detained ULFA leader was earlier discussed during External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s Dhaka visit in June this year.
India had pressed for Chetia’s deportation as he has already expressed his desire to return.
The ULFA’s founder general secretary was arrested in Bangladesh in 1997 and is under detention on completion of his seven-year jail term for cross-border intrusion, carrying fake passports and illegally keeping foreign currencies.
He has completed his prison term but is still being in jail in line with a Bangladeshi High Court directive in August, 2003 to keep him in safe custody until the government made a decision on his plea seeking political asylum in Bangladesh.
On the ratification of Land Boundary Agreement (LBA), the Bangladesh Home Secretary said that in the meeting, the Indian side informed that its Parliamentary Affairs Committee is preparing a bill to be placed before the Rajya Sabha.
He said the two countries are also likely to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to prevent cross-border human trafficking particularly of women and children once the Indian Cabinet approves it.
The Bangladesh cabinet has already given its approval for the agreement.
On the smuggling of fake Indian currency from Bangladesh, he said, “We told them we are looking into the issue seriously.”
In the meeting Bangladesh also asked India to ensure “zero killing” on borders by BSF by arresting the intruders instead of shooting them.