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ULFA leader likely to be handed over

Top ULFA leader Anup Chetia, who has served a seven-year term in Bangladesh, is likely to be handed over to Indian authorities meeting a long-pending demand of New Delhi.

india Updated: Jun 23, 2008 20:57 IST

Top ULFA leader Anup Chetia, who has served a seven-year term in Bangladesh, is likely to be handed over to Indian authorities meeting a long-pending demand of New Delhi.

Chetia is likely to be handed over to Assam Police in the presence of BSF officials before the foreign secretary-level talks between the two countries sometime in mid-July, a top Assam Police official told PTI.

In what appears to be the culmination of long-drawn political manoeuvres by India, Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) recently gave a list of 12 Indian nationals, including Chetia, whom that country was willing to hand over.

"The list, which was given to BSF, has been sent to the Union home ministry for examining and fixing the date for the handover," BSF sources in Shillong said.

Chetia, along with two accomplices, was arrested by Bangladesh authorities on December 21, 1997 from a Dhaka apartment and sentenced to a seven-year jail term under that country's Foreigners Act and Passport Act for possessing false documents, foreign currency and a satellite telephone.

The militant leader had lodged separate petitions to the Bangladesh authorities for political asylum to another country other than India but was detained in Dhaka jail for 'security' reasons even after his release on February 25, 2005. Later, he was shifted to Mynmensingh Jail.

According to sources, there are at least 162 Indian nationals who have completed their jail terms in Bangladesh and are awaiting release and repatriation.