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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Pro-talk Ulfa happy with Chetia's impending return from Dhaka

Sanjib Kr Baruah, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 03, 2011
First Published: 23:32 IST(3/8/2011) | Last Updated: 23:34 IST(3/8/2011)

The pro-talk group of the United Liberation Front of Asom has expressed happiness that the organisation's arrested leader Anup Chetia will be sent back to India soon.

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"We are happy with the news of his impending return as Chetia will be able to contribute to the peace process in a big way as he is a popular and capable leader," Pradip Gogoi, Ulfa vice-chairman told HT.

"The government wants to bring him back, the people of Assam also want it that way, so definitely the prospects of the peace process have brightened."

Gogoi was reacting to media reports on Wednesday quoting Bangladesh home minister Sahara Khatun as saying that the legal process has already been initiated to hand Chetia over to India.

Bangladesh's move has come on the heels of home minister P Chidambaram's recent visit to that country.

India is understood to have handed over a list of 50 Indians who are believed to be in hiding or in detention in Bangladesh. Chetia's name figures at the top of the list.

Ulfa's talks with the government is expected to start in a week's time.

"Chetia was one of the original pro talks leaders back in 1993. We would welcome him if he seeks to reinforce the ongoing peace parleys," said a senior government official familiar with the developments.

Chetia, said to be close to Paresh Barua, the Ulfa's commander-in-chief who is staunchly opposed to coming to the talking table, was the organisation's general secretary when he was arrested by Bangladesh's security forces in 1997.

He is currently under detention in Dhaka after completing his jail term.


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