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Jailed ULFA chief wants UN asylum

K Anurag in Guwahati | December 18, 2008 20:27 IST

United Liberation Front of Asom chief Golap Barua alias Anup Chetia has moved the United Nations for refugee status and political asylum in a safe country in the event of his release from a Bangladesh jail.

The Indian government wants his to be extradited.

The ULFA mouthpiece Swadhinata in its latest issue which has been made available through the Internet, informed that Barua, now lodged in a Bangladesh jail, has moved United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees through its Bangladesh office for political asylum and refugee status in a safe country as he fears his life will be in danger once he is released.

Following are excerpts from Barua's application In his application dated December 7 and addressed to UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ant´┐Żnio Guterres:

"My name is Anup Chetia. I am the general secretary of the United Liberation Front of Asom. I am being held in the Kashimpur Jail in the outskirts of Bangladesh capital Dhaka. The irony is that I am no longer a convict to be held in a jail as I completed my seven years of imprisonment for entering Bangladesh illegally carrying foreign currencies and a satellite phone.

"I was born as Golap Barua at Jerai Gaon in Tinisukia, Assam. I took the alias name of Anup Chetia after chosen to be an office bearer of my organisation. The aim of my

organisation is to the restoration of Sovereignty of Assam. As this is in direct conflict with the Indian government's aggressive policy of so-called national integrity, I became an enemy of the Indian government. Eventually the organisation was proscribed and the Indian Army [Images] operations were launched against my organisation resulting in deaths of many of the members of our organisation.

"I was arrested in India and was mercilessly tortured and finding my life was in danger I escaped using a ploy with the Indian authorities. Since then I have been trying to avoid capture by the Indian authorities.

"India has seriously been pressurising Bangladesh government from the very beginning of my arrest in this country to hand me over to them. But as I have denounced my

Indian Nationality and there is no extradition treaty between the two countries, have so far been the rejected India's request.

"Spending long ten years and eight months in Bangladesh prison has taken its toll. I am craving for a normal existence. However, I appreciate that my life is not safe even in Bangladesh if I am allowed to leave the four walls of the prison safety.

"Therefore, I am appealing to you for the kind and considered intervention of your esteemed office for granting me a refugee status and political asylum in a safe country."

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