Dhaka faces judicial hurdle on releasing Indian militants

Bangladesh faces a legal hurdle in handing over Anup Chetia and two other Indian separatist leaders jailed in this country for the past 13 years as it is yet to respond to a high court order on the trio's asylum pleas, a media report Saturday said.
HT Image
HT Image
Updated on Feb 21, 2009 03:54 PM IST
Copy Link
IANS | By, Dhaka

Bangladesh faces a legal hurdle in handing over Anup Chetia and two other Indian separatist leaders jailed in this country for the past 13 years as it is yet to respond to a high court order on the trio's asylum pleas, a media report Saturday said.

Successive governments have for over five years failed to respond to the high court order on the asylum pleas.

The present government too is yet to reply to a high court notice issued Aug 23, 2003 on United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) leader Anup Chetia's application for asylum, the New Age newspaper said.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hassan Mahmood told an Indian TV channel earlier this week that "an understanding" had been reached between New Delhi and the Sheikh Hasina government on handing over Chetia.

However, the newspaper quoted unnamed officials of the home and foreign ministries as saying that they had received no clear orders. They were not even aware of the handover move.

Sources in the attorney general's office told New Age that no reply had been filed to the court notice as they were yet to get any instructions from the home ministry on the issue.

Anup Chetia and his two associates, Laxmi Prasad Goswami and Babul Sharma, have been in a Bangladeshi prison since 1996 after being convicted in four cases.

They sought political asylum Aug 3, 1998, saying their lives would be endangered if they were sent back to India "as they had been fighting for the independence of the people of Assam".

Getting no response from the government, the trio renewed their appeals Feb 27, 2000, March 13, 2001, and Aug 14, 2003.

A high court bench of judges M.A. Aziz and Syed Refaat Ahmed had Aug 23, 2003 asked the then government of prime minister Khaleda Zia to explain in four weeks why it should not dispose of the applications for political asylum as early as possible.

The court also ordered the government to keep the trio in prison as a measure of safe or protective custody till their appeals for political asylum could be disposed of.

The court passed the order after hearing a writ petition filed by a rights organisation, Bangladesh Society for Enforcement of Human Rights.

The rights body was headed by the wife of a powerful minister in the Zia government and campaigned against the three being handed over to India after their jail terms were completed.

There is no extradition treaty between Bangladesh and India.

Every time New Delhi seeks to negotiate with ULFA to reach a political settlement, the outfit demands that their "missing leaders" be brought back.

The Zia government, and later a caretaker government that ruled for two years, neither disposed of the appeals nor filed any reply to the high court.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • File photo of Ghislaine Maxwell.

    Ghislaine Maxwell put on suicide watch: Lawyers

    Ghislaine Maxwell, is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday for her December conviction for helping her then-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein, the globe-trotting financier and convicted sex offender, abuse girls between 1994 and 2004. Prosecutors say she deserves between 30 and 55 years in prison. She told psychology staff she was not suicidal. Prosecutors said the jail's warden will oversee an investigation. Maxwell wants less than 20 years, arguing she is being scapegoated for Epstein's crimes.

  • File photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    G7 leaders mock Putin in jokes about stripping off

    World leaders mocked Russian President Vladimir Putin's tough-man image at a G7 lunch in Germany on Sunday, joking about whether they should strip down to shirtsleeves -- or even less. "Jackets on? Jackets off? Do we take our coats off?" The leaders -- from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and the European Union -- pondered the dilemma. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson interjected: "We've got to show them our pecs."

  • Police are seen outside a township pub in South Africa's southern city of East London.

    At least 20 dead in South African club; cause not yet known

    South African police are investigating the deaths of at least 20 people at a nightclub in the coastal town of East London early Sunday. “At this point we cannot confirm the cause of death,” said health department spokesperson Siyanda Manana. Police Minister Bheki Cele was on Sunday morning expected to visit the scene. The owner of the club, Siyakhangela Ndevu, told local broadcaster eNCA that he had been called to the scene early Sunday morning.

  • France was one of several US allies to condemn the decision, with President Emmanuel Macron denouncing a threat to women’s freedom.

    US Supreme Court decision spurs French government into action

    Politicians representing a parliamentary majority on Saturday voiced support for a bill enshrining abortion rights in France's constitution, after the US Supreme Court revoked the nationwide legal protection for American people to terminate pregnancies. The landmark ruling by the conservative-majority court on Friday overturned almost five decades of constitutional protections for abortion in the United States, allowing individual states to regulate the procedure. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said the government would support the bill “wholeheartedly”.

  • President Joe Biden speaks and formally launches the global infrastructure partnership, on the margins of the G7 Summit in Elmau, Germany.

    G7 unveils rival to China’s BRI

    US President Joe Biden announced on Sunday a G7 project to rival China's Belt and Road Initiative by raising some $600 billion for global infrastructure programmes in poor countries. “Together with G7 partners, we aim to mobilise $600 billion by 2027 in global infrastructure investments,” the White House said shortly ahead of a speech by Biden unveiling the proposal.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, June 27, 2022