Chetia calling shots from Dhaka

Updated on May 25, 2007 05:44 AM IST
The Interim Administration in Dhaka is yet to keep its pledge to send back Ulfa leader, who has served his prison sentence, reports Nilova R Chaudhury.
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None | ByNilova Roy Chaudhury, New Delhi

The Interim Administration in Dhaka is yet to keep its pledge to send back Ulfa leader Anup Chetia, who has served his prison sentence in Bangladesh. Dhaka had assured the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in April that it would send back Chetia, government sources said.

Instead, Chetia is controlling and planning insurgent operations against targets in Assam and other parts of the northeast from the Dhaka Central jail, Shahriar Kabir, a prominent Bangladeshi writer, film maker and civil rights activist says. The attacks and the incidents of kidnapping saw a sharp rise in Assam over the last year.

Kabir had shared jail quarters with the United Liberation Front of Asom leader during his detention in Dhaka Central Jail. He said Chetia has “access to a mobile telephone and runs the ULFA’s operations from the jail, where he is kept in royal style”.

Chetia is lodged in a three-room complex and has a separate bathroom and kitchen.

Bangladesh authorities are refusing to send him back to India, citing the lack of an extradition treaty between the two countries. India rejects the argument saying Bangladesh could return him “if it had the will to do so”.

During his visit to New Delhi for the SAARC summit, Foreign Adviser to the Interim Administration, Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury had accepted that ULFA leaders were hiding in Dhaka. He also assured that his government would do its best to ensure no anti-Indian activities were spearheaded from Bangladesh.

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