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Bangladesh, India sign extradition treaty

Indo-Bangladesh flagDHAKA: Bangladesh and India on Monday signed an extradition treaty that could pave the way for the deportation of an alleged key Indian insurgent leader in Dhaka to New Delhi, officials said.


The treaty, which will allow transfer of convicted and criminals facing trial, was signed between Bangladesh's home minister Muhiuddin Khan and his Indian counterpart, Sushilkumar Shinde, who was on a two-day trip to Dhaka.


"I am proud to declare that India and Bangladesh embarked on a new path of cooperation following the signing of the extradition treaty," Shinde told reporters.


Bangladesh's home minister said alleged Indian insurgent leader Anup Chetia could be extradited under the treaty although the country's highest court would first have to decide on his asylum application.


"As soon as the court decides on him, we would decide if it is possible to deport him under this treaty," Khan said.


India has long been pressing for the deportation of Chetia, said to be one of the key leaders of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) operating in India's northeast for decades.


Chetia has been in a Bangladesh jail since his arrest in 1997.


A Bangladesh court jailed Chetia for seven years for illegal entry. Although his sentence is believed to have expired, he is still in Bangladesh custody.


Khan, in turn, urged Shinde to find, arrest and hand over the convicted killers of Bangladesh's founding leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman said to be hiding in India.


"We are committed to return the criminals and other fugitives who are hiding in India and wanted by Bangladesh," Shinde responded.


Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, won independence in 1971 with Indian military help but relations between the two countries have gone through periods of strain.


Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013


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