The ULFA[Independent] has appealed to Bangladesh not to use its jailed leader Anup Chetia’s extradition to India as a bargaining tool to secure custody of some Bangladeshi criminals.
Chairman of ULFA[Independent] Dr Abhizeet Asom, in a letter to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said Chetia was “not a criminal but a leader of the freedom loving people of Assam”.
ULFA’s appeal to Hasina came in the wake of reports that the Bangladesh government had sought the extradition of two criminals, Subrata Bain and Sajjad Hossain, in exchange for Chetia.
While Bain was arrested in Kolkata in 2012 on charges of carrying fake currency, illegal arms and for illegal immigration, Hossain – who is lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail – is wanted in several cases of murder in Bangladesh.
“I believe Chetia has approached your government volunteering to be repatriated rather than being held in protective custody anymore. However, upon being made aware that you are seeking a few citizens of your country who are indicted as criminals and currently held by India, like Subrata Bain in exchange of Chetia’s repatriation, I am deeply dismayed that Chetia’s requests has been used as bargaining tool for getting hands on Bangladeshi criminals currently in India,” said the letter.
Citing Anup Chetia as a Freedom fighter, Dr Abhizeet Asom said, “Mr. Anup Chetia is not a criminal, but, a leader of the freedom loving people of Assam. Handing him over to the colonial administration of India in exchange of criminals of your country would be a great humiliation and will hurt the sentiment of the people of Assam. Therefore, I would like request you, that Mr. Anup Chetia be given an honourable and decent repatriation from the country where he sought refuge to carry on the liberation struggle of Assam.”
Mentionable that ULFA General Secretary Anup Chetia and his two associates, Lakshmi Prasad Goswami and Babul Sharma, have been in Bangladesh prison since 1997 after being convicted in four cases.