SHILLONG, Nov 20 – India has asserted that wanted fugitive and ULFA general secretary, Anup Chetia is fleeing nowhere from Bangladesh, as he is desperately trying, but heading straight back to India to stand trial.
After yesterday’s crucial Home Secretary-level meeting between officials from India and Bangladesh to work out the final draft of the Extradition Treaty, a top Home Ministry official stated from New Delhi “India would bring back Chetia and put him to trial once the treaty is signed.
Chetia is in “safe custody” in Bangladesh after his seven year jail term expired in 2004. He was arrested in 1997 and jailed near Dhaka for illegally entering into Bangladesh.
After the completion of his jail term, Chetia applied in 2008 to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees seeking political asylum in Bangladesh as a refugee.
Currently, Human right groups like Bangladesh Society for Enforcement of Human Rights and Bangladesh Human Rights Enforcement Sangstha have petitioned to the present government to grant political asylum to Anup Chetia in Bangladesh or deport him to a third country.
Recently, Chetia has appealed to a court in Bangladesh to grant him refugee status and political asylum in a ‘third country’ after a similar application at the UN for political asylum.
“We will never let Anup Chetia flee to any other country, but bring him back to India. Moreover, very few countries would allow a person with such criminal background shelter on its soil,” the Home Ministry official said.
Chetia is wanted in India for various crimes he committed, including murder, kidnapping and extortion. He was arrested in Assam in 1991, but was freed by the State Government.
The Union Home Ministry official said that Bangladesh has expressed its 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, which is at its final stage.