The ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia will not be extradited under the treaty signed Monday, Bangladesh’s Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir said at a joint press conference after the signing of the landmark pact.
To a question on India’s request for Chetia’s extradition, Alamgir said they would not be able to send back Chetia under the treaty as he had prayed for political asylum in the Supreme Court.
“This extradition treaty specifically provides for handing over of criminals, but political asylum seekers are a different category,” he said.
“As of today, the person that you mention has filed an application before the supreme court of Bangladesh seeking asylum in this country,” Alamgir said, adding that the Supreme Court will first have to dispose his prayer for political asylum.
“After that, we will decide whether to treat this person or any other persons under this extradition treaty or in some other way,” he said.
Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde declined to name any person when asked who will India send back now that the extradition treaty is in place.
“We have to carefully disclose the names of those who will be covered by this treaty. It will be between the governments and it will not be disclosed in public at this moment,” he said.
The two ministers signed the treaty after a discussion at the Ruposhi Bangla Hotel hours after Shinde’s arrival in Dhaka in the morning.
The draft of the extradition treaty was approved by the Bangladesh cabinet earlier in the day. The Indian cabinet on Jan 24 approved the treaty.
It was widely believed that Delhi would take back ULFA’s “general secretary” Anup Chetia after the treaty to stand trial in India.
However, sources in his home state Assam say Chetia may join the pro-talks group of the ULFA and participate in negotiations with the Indian government.
The Bangladesh Home Minister, however, said Bangladesh would be benefited more by the treaty than India as the number of Bangladeshi criminals hiding in India was more than the other way round.
“We will be able to bring back more criminals than India can take back,” he said, immediately seeking India’s support to trace the killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who have been sentenced.
The Indian Home Minister said they would give all cooperation and try to trace and send back the killers to Bangladesh.bdnews24.com