It was a major diplomatic victory for India when ULFA leader Anup Chetia was handed over. Chetia who had spent 17 years in a Bangladesh jail had sought political asylum, but the same was not granted and he was handed over to India instead.
The arrival of Chetia in India comes at a very crucial time when the Indian government is trying to take forward the peace pact signed with several groups in the North Eastern States.
Chetia, according to sources will join the peace process with India and this is a major breakthrough considering that the ULFA has often shied away from talks.
Chetia will join the peace process
Chetia is part of the pro-talks ULFA faction which is headed by Arabinda Rajkhowa. While Rajkhowa has held discussions on peace with India on six different occassions, the arrival of Chetia on the scene will help further the cause.
Chetia is not only a flamboyant leader, but also extremely influential. Indian officials feel that despite being away from India and in a jail for 17 years, he still has a clout which could help further the peace process.
When India and Bangladesh were engaging with each other it was the former which made a request to hand Chetia over. Chetia on the other hand was more than happy to join the peace process and hence his arrival in India gives officials the hope of carrying forward the pact.
The pro-talks faction of the ULFA has already put forth a charter of demands before the Indian government as early as 2011. However there were some nagging differences as a result of which there has been no progress despite six rounds of talks.
However, Indian officials are hopeful that Chetia would help cure those defects as there would more engagement in the future.