Dhaka hands over NDFB chief to India

Ranjan Daimary, chief of the outlawed NDFB, is wanted in India for ordering bomb attacks.

Guwahati/Shillong: Bangladesh authorities Saturday handed over Ranjan Daimary, chief of the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), to India where he is wanted for ordering bomb attacks, officials said.

He is the fifth top separatist leader to be evicted out of Bangladesh in the past four months.

An Indian official said Daimary, along with at least two other NDFB militants, were handed over to the Border Security Force (BSF) at a border post in Dawki in Meghalaya early Saturday.

The BSF then handed him over to the Assam Police.

Daimary and the two other NDFB militants have since arrived in Guwahati and were being interrogated by senior Assam Police intelligence officials at a safe house in the city.

According to police sources, the NDFB leader was arrested April 17 in Jinaighati town in Sherpur district of Bangladesh and held in custody before being handed over to Indian authorities Saturday.

"He is a big catch no doubt," the official said requesting anonymity. The Assam government has, however, refused to confirm Daimary`s arrest.

The arrest was made following a tip-off about Daimary`s presence in Jinaighati by the Indian military intelligence to the Detective Branch of the Bangladesh police in early April.

Sources said Indian military intelligence officials gave specific information about Daimary`s son who is a student at a school in Dhaka. It is through him and subsequent telephone intercepts between the NDFB chairman and his wife that led to the arrest.

Formed in 1986, the NDFB is a rebel group fighting for an independent homeland for the Bodo tribes people in Assam.

The NDFB was blamed for the October 30, 2008 serials explosions in Assam that killed about 100 people and wounded up to 800 more.

Earlier, the Awami League government of Sheikh Hasina handed over four top leaders of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to India - chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, deputy commander-in-chief Raju Baruah, foreign secretary Sasha Choudhury, and finance secretary Chitraban Hazarika.

All the top four ULFA leaders are now in Guwahati jail.

"We are committed to fighting terror," Mohammed Zamir, political advisor to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said over telephone from Dhaka. But he too refused to deny or confirm Daimary`s arrest.

According to Assam government sources, Daimary would be interrogated for at least two days before being produced in court.

In 2005, a faction of the NDFB led by its general secretary Gobinda Basumatary entered into a ceasefire with New Delhi, but Daimary preferred to continue his armed struggle out of Bangladesh.


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