Sunday, February 27, 2005

BANGLADESH: Delhi asks for Chetia handover

This is the second time in a week that India has formally asked Bangladesh to hand over Chetia. Although the Ulfa leader’s prison sentence in Bangladesh ended yesterday, there has been no formal response from Dhaka yet on whether he will be handed over or allowed to stay in Bangladesh. Sources said Bangladesh has informally told Indian officials that Chetia had applied for asylum in Bangladesh. The appeal is before a local court and a final decision can be taken only after it gives its ruling.

Delhi asks for Chetia handover
PRANAY SHARMA

New Delhi, Feb. 26: India has made a formal request to Bangladesh to hand over Ulfa leader Anup Chetia.

The request, in the form of a note verbale, was made to the Bangladeshi foreign ministry yesterday by the Indian high commission in Dhaka.

This is the second time in a week that India has formally asked Bangladesh to hand over Chetia. Although the Ulfa leader’s prison sentence in Bangladesh ended yesterday, there has been no formal response from Dhaka yet on whether he will be handed over or allowed to stay in Bangladesh.

Sources said Bangladesh has informally told Indian officials that Chetia had applied for asylum in Bangladesh. The appeal is before a local court and a final decision can be taken only after it gives its ruling.

Foreign ministry officials said India is not very hopeful that Bangladesh will proceed with any seriousness on the matter.

“The Bangladeshi tactics are aimed at buying time and by dragging its feet on our request for extradition, it only wants to prolong the issue before it dies down,” a senior diplomat said.

The strained bilateral relations could further worsen if Dhaka plays difficult in the handover matter.