Chetia extradition on cards as Bangla cabinet clears treaty - The New Indian Express

Chetia extradition on cards as Bangla cabinet clears treaty

Published: 08th October 2013 10:22 AM

Last Updated: 08th October 2013 10:22 AM

With the Bangladeshi Cabinet ratifying the extradition treaty on Monday, the path is more or less clear for the extradition of ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia, which will likely to take place in December.

India has already ratified the treaty, which was signed in January and has been in the negotiation table for the last 30 years.

After the Bangladeshi Cabinet ratified it, the treaty will now got to Parliament for approval,  However, that is expected to be a formality as the ruling party has an absolute majority in the House.

According to sources, Monday’s development will have an impact on the much-anticipated deportation of Chetia, whose presence is required in the ongoing peace talks between ULFA leaders and the Centre.

Chetia, one of the founders of ULFA, was arrested in Dhaka in December 1997 and found guilty by local court of possession of forged passports, fake currency, illegal stay and trespassing into the country.

Though his prison term ended on February 25, 2007, Chetia has since been in “protective custody”. In the meantime, he had applied for political asylum in Bangladesh thrice.

The buzz about Chetia’s extradition had been going on since July, but both the sides indicate that things cannot move fast as the optics for this handover will not be seen in the right light in Bangladesh.

While India wants Chetia on an early date, Bangladesh likes to have some wanted criminals who are currently lodged in Tihar jail.

This ratification comes after both the sides on Sunday opened the first ever India-Bangladesh grid, which will allow supply of about 500 megawatt electricity to that country.

But, the two big ticket items remain only on paper with the government not allowed to even table the Constitutional Amendment Bill on land boundary agreement in the Rajya Sabha and Teesta water pact being at the mercy of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

According to sources, the Trinamool Congress and the Asom Gana Parishad have apparently told External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid that they would not have any objection to the Bill, which expected to be tabled in Parliament in the winter session.

The passage of the Bill is another issue, with the BJP so far not softening its opposition to it.

The Bangladesh Government had been asking India to move forward with these agreements, as the Sheikh Hasina administration will be going before the electorate for the parliamentary polls early next year.

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