Chetia arrested by CBI, in 6 days transit remand

New Delhi :The CBI today placed founder member of banned ULFA militant group Anup Chetia under arrest in connection with a nearly three-decade-old murder case registered by the central probe agency.

In a brief statement, the CBI said that Chetia, whose real name is Golap Baruah, was placed under arrest in connection with the murder case which was handed over to the CBI by the Assam government in 1988.

“He was produced before the competent court here which sent him to six days of transit remand to the CBI,” the agency said.

The CBI is probing the murder case of ex-councillor of Golaghat Deboksi Dhar Chaudhury. He was killed by ULFA rebels on August 29, 1986 and Chetia is alleged to be involved in its criminal conspiracy.

The 48-year-old Chetia was arrested in Bangladesh in 1997 and sentenced to seven years of imprisonment for carrying foreign currency and satellite phone.

After his sentence was over, India had been pressing for his deportation which, however, was stalled after he petitioned the high court there seeking political asylum.

The high court there had directed the authorities to keep Chetia in safe custody till his petition was decided upon.

Bangladesh media quoted the country’s Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal as saying that the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) handed over Chetia along with two others to the Border Security Force of India as their jail terms ended and Chetia himself withdrew his petition that he filed earlier with the high court seeking political asylum.

“I am going back willingly and consciously and in good health,” the minister quoted Chetia as saying.

Chetia is wanted for killings, abductions, bank robberies and extortion activities.

India had been repeatedly demanding Chetia’s deportation for nearly two decades but successive governments in Bangladesh had cited the high court ruling and petition of Chetia seek political asylum.

The deportation comes days after underworld don Chhota Rajan, who is believed to have helped Indian intelligence agencies against dreaded gangster and terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, was brought to India after 27 years.

Chetia was in Bangladesh ever since he fled India in early 1990s. He had been arrested in March 1991 but the then Assam Chief Minister Hiteshwar Saikia released him from jail, following which he fled from India.

Chetia, along with Bhimakanta Buragohain, Arabinda Rajkhowa, Pradip Gogoi, Bhadreshwar Gohain and Paresh Baruah, formed the ULFA on April 7, 1979, at the 18th century amphitheatre Rang Ghar in Sivasagar to establish a “sovereign socialist Assam” through an armed struggle.