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ULFA arrests: `India awaiting B`desh confirmation`

Last Updated: Sunday, July 18, 2010 - 20:33

Shillong/New Delhi: India is awaiting official confirmation from Bangladesh of the arrest of two United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) rebels, including Ranjan Chowdhury alias Major Ranjan, Home Secretary GK Pillai said Sunday.

"We have seen it (arrest) in the newspapers, but Bangladesh authorities will officially inform us of the arrest through diplomatic channels," Pillai said from New Delhi.

Asked whether India would ask Bangladesh to hand over the arrested ULFA rebels, to stand trial in India, the Home Secretary said: "We will surely do that through proper diplomatic channels."

On Saturday, Bangladesh`s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) paraded the detained ULFA rebel leader Ranjan Chowdhury alias Major Ranjan and his Bangladeshi aide Pradip Marak before the media in Dhaka.

Chowdhury is a former general secretary of the Dhubri district unit of ULFA. The RAB recovered a pistol, a revolver, four handmade bombs and bomb-making material from the hideout.

Chowdhury illegally entered the country through Kurigram district in September 1997 to meet ULFA military wing chief Paresh Barua in Dhaka.

However, the nationality of Marak is yet to be confirmed. Marak is of Garo origin, a sizeable number of whom live in Bangladesh.

In 1995, Indian law enforcers had arrested Chowdhury on his way back to India from Bhutan after his meeting with ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia, who has been convicted in several cases and is now in jail in Bangladesh since 1997.

Last December, the Bangladesh authorities facilitated the arrest of ULFA chief Arabinda Rajkhowa, Raju Barua and eight others of the group.

Dhaka also handed over Ranjan Daimary, chief of the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), to India where he is wanted for ordering bomb attacks.

Daimary is the fifth top separatist leader to be evicted out of Bangladesh.

India and Bangladesh have stepped up cooperation in handling crime, militancy and terrorism since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took office in January last year.


First Published: Sunday, July 18, 2010 - 20:33
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