‘Efforts to take ULFA leader Anup Chetia back’

Efforts to bring back ULFA leader Anup Chetia have resumed ahead of a crucial round of negotiations between the Indian government and the rebel group’s pro-talk faction.The ULFA pro-talk faction will meet top Indian officials on June 25 in Delhi, officials said.
Leaders of this faction say it would be good to have Anup Chetia arrive before this round of negotiations.
Chetia apparently has expressed his support to the pro-talk faction and not those like military wing chief Paresh Barua who continue to oppose the negotiations.
“We are trying to bring back Anup Chetia at the earliest. The efforts are on and once everything is finalised, the details will be shared,” said GD Tripathi, Home Secretary of India’s north-eastern state of Assam.
Meanwhile, Anup Chetia has appealed to Bangladesh to let him go back home after spending sixteen years in prisons in Bangladesh.
He wants his petition for political asylum cancelled.
“The ULFA leader now wants to return home and get his prayer he submitted earlier for political asylum cancelled,” said Brig Gen Ashraful Islam Khan, the Inspector General of Prisons (IG-Prisons).
Khan said Chetia’s application for cancelling his asylum request has been sent to the Home Ministry.
“I have been under imprisonment for years despite the fact that my jail term expired in 2007. How much more time do I have to suffer in jail? I earlier sought political asylum, but I am no longer looking forward to it; free me and let me go back home,” says Anup Chetia in his petition.
The founder General Secretary of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) was arrested in Dhaka on December 21, 1997.
He has been staying in a cell of Rajshahi Central Jail although his jail term ended on February 25, 2007.
He was sentenced to three-year rigorous imprisonment and fined Tk 5,000 for illegal stay in Bangladesh and for possession of forged Bangladeshi passports and foreign currency.
In addition, another court jailed him for four more years for illegal trespass into Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, Anup Chetia sought political asylum in Bangladesh on three occasions — in 2005, 2008 and in 2011.
On December 7, 2008, he also wrote to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, urging it to grant him refugee status.
Since his arrest, India has been asking the Bangladesh government to hand over Chetia.
After India and Bangladesh signed the extradition treaty on January 28, 2013, that has become legally possible.
The ULFA pro-talk faction has been sending feelers to Chetia to join the peace process which now appears running into troubled waters with Paresh Barua’s supporters recruiting heavily from Muttock and Moran communities in Upper Assam.
Anup Chetia (real name: Golap Barua) could neutralise the growing influence of Paresh Barua group among the Muttock and Maran communities.
Both Paresh Barua and Anup Chetia are Muttock.
Chetia, like ULFA Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa and other leaders of the pro-talk faction, will walk free of the many charges against him in India — but only if he supports the negotiations.
While Rajkhowa and his supporters have walked free after agreeing to start negotiations with India, Manipuri separatist leader RK Meghen alias Sanayaima remains in jail because he refuses to start negotiations with Delhi.
Meghen, who is Chairman of the United National Liberation Front, was also nabbed in Bangladesh and handed over to India in much the same way that the ULFA leaders were picked up and send back.
“There are strong indications that Chetia may soon come and join us,” Rajkhowa said. (Source: bdnews24.com)

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