ULFA leader Anup Chetia to be handed over soon?

ULFA `general secretary` Anup Chetia, currently in a jail in Bangladesh, will soon be handed over to India, Arabinda Rajkhowa claimed on Thursday.

New Delhi: ULFA `general secretary` Anup Chetia, currently in a jail in Bangladesh, will soon be handed over to India, the group`s `chairman` Arabinda Rajkhowa claimed on Thursday.

After attending another round of peace talks with the government, Rajkhowa said a positive decision on Chetia is expected soon and he (Chetia) will take part in future rounds of dialogue.

However, Union Home Secretary RK Singh said Chetia`s issue was still pending in courts in Dhaka and New Delhi would deal it with legally.

Arrested in Bangladesh in 1997 for forging travel documents, 54-year-old Chetia is under detention on completion of his jail term.

Since his arrest, India has been asking the Bangladesh government to hand over Chetia in different bilateral meeting. Despite efforts by New Delhi, his deportation has not fructified due to various legal issues pending in Bangladeshi courts.

Singh said today`s dialogue was held in a cordial manner and significant progress has been made in it.

Rajkhowa said they held point-by-point discussions with the government on group`s charter of demands and a "political solution" to over three-decade-old insurgency problem in Assam is expected soon.

Both sides discussed various aspects of the group`s `charter of demands` which seek amendment in the Constitution for finding "meaningful" ways to protect the rights and identity of the indigenous people of Assam, sources said.

Representatives of the Assam government and Centre`s pointsman for ULFA talks P C Halder participated in in the meeting. The ULFA team also called on Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.

Among other demands of the group include discussions on grounds for "ULFA`s struggle and their genuineness", status report on missing ULFA leaders and cadres numbering around 50 including those missing since 2005 when Bhutan government had conducted offensives, and other socio-economic issues.

The ULFA has entered into formal peace talks with the government after a 32-year-old violent insurgency movement. On September 3, 2011, the group signed the Suspension of Operation pact with the government.

Rajkhowa led an eight-member team during introductory talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram in February, 2011.

ULFA`s elusive `commander-in-chief` Paresh Baruah is still opposed to any dialogue with the government till `sovereignty` issue is not on the table.