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“ULFA chief no longer in Bangladesh”

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Bangladesh on Saturday said United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) chief Paresh Barua was “no longer staying” in the country and promised that it would not hesitate in handing over any Indian fugitive to New Delhi.

“Paresh Burua is no longer staying in Bangladesh. We don’t harbour any Indian terrorist or criminal in our territory,” Director-General of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), Major-General Shakil Ahmed said at a joint press conference with Border Security Force (BSF) Director-General A.K. Mitra.

Interpol had issued a red corner notice against Barua over a decade ago. Till Gen. Ahmed’s admission that he is “no longer” staying in his country, Dhaka consistently claimed that it never harboured the ULFA leader. On the other hand, India says he is in Bangladeshi protective custody and has built up a business.

On ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia, the BDR chief said there was no extradition treaty between the two countries. Besides, Chetia was under trial for some cases registered in Bangladesh. “His case is still sub judice and unless and until the court takes a decision, we cannot hand him over to India,” he said.

Mr. Mitra and Gen. Ahmed were speaking to the media at the end of the India-Bangladesh Border Coordination Conference during which they resolved to work towards curbing trafficking in women and children, counterfeit currency and arms smuggling.

“Under no circumstances do we want to support insurgency. Terrorists and insurgency in the northeast are a threat to Bangladesh. We don’t want insurgency in the region because it spills over to Bangladesh. There is no question of any camp being set up and run in Bangladesh,” said Gen. Ahmed. Asked to corroborate his assertion, the BSF chief said, “you can make your own conclusion.”

India submitted a list of 117 hideouts of Indian insurgent groups in Bangladesh. Mr. Mitra said India had handed over seven Bangladeshi criminals who had fled to India.

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