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India-Bangladesh close to signing extradition treaty

Guwahati , Fri, 02 Mar 2012 ANI

Guwahati, Mar 2 (ANI): Home Ministers of India and Bangladesh are expected to reach on early resolution on issues such as illegal migration, border management and extradition of terrorists and criminals.


The extradition treaty holds great significance for India, as people like 54-year-old Anup Chetia, the top leader of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), who is currently lodged in a Dhaka Jail since 1997 for forging travel documents, can be easily extradited back to India once the treaty is signed.


Chetia, who is among India's most wanted terrorists. He had recently applied to a court in Bangladesh for political asylum.


New Delhi has been asking Dhaka to hand over Chetia, but his deportation has not taken place so far owing to various legal issues.


On February 24, the Bangladesh Home Minister Shahara Khatun met her counterpart P Chidambaram during her three-day visit to India and discussed various issues, including the extradition policy between the two countries.


"The extradition treaty is on the final stages of consideration by the government of Bangladesh and I think it is moving forward," said Chidambaram.


"There is absolutely no problem. We are committed to delivering these people to the government of India but as you know like in India Bangladesh also has a legal process to follow. It is working its way through the courts and as soon as the court process is over you will have them. We have no intention of holding them one day more than necessary," said Khatun.


India shares 3,900 km long border with Bangladesh adjoining its northeast region and West Bengal. There are incidents of cross-border crimes such as smuggling and illegal migration from Bangladesh, which India has long been raising with its neighbour.


Chidambaram said that efforts are being made to solve various problems, including that of illegal migration from Bangladesh


"At the moment after we liberalised the visa regime, we have issued for example in 2011, 50 lakh (5 million) visas to Bangladeshis. So I think much of the problem of illegal migration has been resolved by quickening the process of issue of visas and increase in the number of visas that are given to Bangladeshis. There is really no reason for any Bangladeshi to cross over illegally but I do admit that some crossings do take place, we have to strengthen the border management and as part of border management we did address this problem also," Chidambaram added. (ANI)


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