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'India, Bangladesh working on extradition treaty'

December 01, 2012 20:00 IST
India may soon get the custody of the 'general secretary' of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Assam Anup Chetia, who is currently lodged Bangladesh jail, as the process for signing of an extradition treaty between the two neighbouring nations has commenced. 

Moudud Ahmed, who is part of a 12-member visiting delegation of Bangladesh MPs, said in Guwahati on Saturday that once the extradition treaty was finalised and signed, exchange of prisoners or other wanted persons would be facilitated between the two countries. 

The Bangladeshi delegation arrived in Guwahati from New Delhi as part of their five-day visit to India and will be flying to Dhaka via Kolkata from on December 3.

In a significant revelation, the MPs from Bangladesh informed that the Indian government was yet to take up the matter of alleged illegal migration from Bangladesh to Assam and other northeastern states.

"There is going to be an extradition treaty between the two nations soon and once that happens, whichever party is in power will have to abide by it," Ahmed, a representative of the country's Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party said. 

He added that the treaty will enable Bangladesh to get access to criminals that may have fled and taken shelter in India and vice-versa. "ULFA 'general secretary' Chetia's handing over to India will also
be facilitated by the treaty." 

The visiting MPs said water-sharing treaties, maritime boundary and trade ties were among the important matters that need to be discussed and resolved for mutual benefits. 

He pointed that the Indira-Mujib treaty of 1974 was ratified by the Bangladesh parliament, but the Indian Parliament failed to do so.  "The current prime ministers of the two nations have signed a protocol last year. We have been assured that the Indian Parliament will discuss it soon," he added. 
Regarding infiltration, Bangladesh MP Rashed Khan Menon of the Workers Party said that the Indian government had not till date taken up the matter. 

When asked whether Bangladesh accepted that illegal migration does take place, Menon said, "There is no encouragement from the Bangladesh side. In principle, Bangladesh does not accept that there is illegal immigration (to India)." 

He maintained that the 10 million people who had taken shelter in India during Bangladesh's independence struggle have also returned. 

Ahmed underlined the border issue as the main unresolved problem between the two nations. He emphasised on the need of a people-to-people meeting to instill further trust among the citizens of the two nations, particularly those from the northeastern Indian states which are geographically and cultural close to Bangladesh.
K Anurag in Guwahati