Two top ULFA leaders among three handed over by Bangladesh

Shillong, Feb 5 (PTI) Bangladeshi security forcestoday pushed back three ULFA cadres, including two of its topleaders, through the Indo-Bangla border in Meghalaya where BSFtook their custody, official sources said.

On a day when the outfit''s key senior leaders, out onbail, announced unconditional talks with the Centre onFebruary 10, ULFA ''captain'' Antu Chaudang, ''second lieutenant''Pradeep Chetia and another cadre Saurav were pushed back fromthe Dawki international border early this morning, they said.

Chaudang is the third top leader to be on the runafter ''c-in-c'' Paresh Barua and another commander of the armedwing ''major'' Jibon Moran.

They were taken to Guwahati by a special team of AssamPolice, the sources said.

In Guwahati, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi thankedBangladesh for taking a strong step against terrorism.

Without directly naming the ULFA, Gogoi said this hashelped the state to create a peaceful atmosphere and influshing out extremists from its soil.

In an email to the media on December 18, ULFApublicity secretary Arunudoy Dohotia had claimed that Chaudangand Chetia were picked by Indian intelligence agencies inBangladesh.

Dohotia had said they were picked up on December 13and since then the duo''s whereabouts were not known.

Indian security agencies had earlier said thatChaudang was injured seriously in a motorcycle accident inDecember and was under treatment in Bangladesh.

Earlier, Dhaka had facilitated "the arrest and handedover" five top leaders of the banned outfit, including its''chairman'' Arabinda Rajkhowa since November, 2009.

Besides Rajkhowa, ULFA deputy ''commander-in-chief''Raju Baruah, self-styled ''foreign secretary'' Sasha Choudhury,and ''finance secretary'' Chitraban Hazarika, were jailed inAssam after they were shown as arrested by Indian authorities.

All are out on bail now.

On September 24 last year, 19 ULFA leaders, includingfour ''captains'', were pushed back by Bangladesh securityagencies through the Meghalaya border.

Indian government is also trying to bring back ULFA''general secretary'' Anup Chetia who is under detention inBangladesh after his arrest in 1997.

Though Chetia, arrested on charges of entering thecountry without passport and possessing a satellite phone,completed his jail term in 2005, he is still in detention.

He has petitioned the Bangladesh government seekingpolitical asylum in the neighbouring country.

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