ULFA ‘chairman’ Rajkhowa held in B’desh

ULFA ‘chairman’ Rajkhowa held in B’desh
Ghy /N Delhi, Dec 2: In a major blow to ULFA, its ‘chairman’ Arabinda Raj-khowa has been detained in Bangladesh and is likely to be handed over to India soon.
Another top North East insurgent leader—’president’ of the banned National Liberation Front of Tripura Biswa Mohan Deb Barma—has also been detained by the authorities in Bangladesh.
Top Government sources said 53-year-old Rajkhowa has been picked up by sleuths of Bangladeshi security agencies last week and kept in a secured location in Dhaka while Deb Barma was detained in Chittagong.
However, Home Secretary GK Pillai and his Bangladesh counterpart Abdus Sobhan Sikder, who is currently in India, pleaded ignorance about the detention of Rajkhowa.
“Because I am away from the country, I do not have such information till now,” Sikder told reporters when asked about the development.
Pillai said : “We also have no official information of arrest of Arabinda Rajkhowa in Bangladesh or anywhere else”.
Efforts are on to bring Rajkhowa, Deb Barma and another ULFA activist Bhaity Barua, who was also picked up along with Rajkhowa, to India.
With Rajkhowa’s detention, ULFA is now left with only two top leaders, self-styled commander-in-chief Paresh Barua and his deputy Raju Barua, who are yet to be arrested. It is believed that Paresh Barua now shuttles among China, Thailand and Malaysia.
The ULFA chairman, whose real name is Rajib Rajkonwar, is reportedly in favour of dialogue with the Central Government.
Barua has been against any type of talks with the Indian Government except on the issue of sovereignty.
Rajkhowa is among five people who founded the separatist group on April 7, 1979.
Two other ULFA leaders—Chitrabon Hazarika and Sasha Choudhury—were detained in Bangladesh last month and subsequently handed over to India.
The arrests assume significance in view of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s proposed visit to India later this month. During her visit, India and Bangladesh will sign three treaties, including transfer of sentenced prisoners.
ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia has been in a Bangladesh jail since 1998 and the treaty will facilitate his handing over to India.
Sources said Rajkhowa’s wife Kaberi Kachari and their two sons were placed under house arrest in Dhaka.
The detained ULFA chairman is the son of a freedom fighter, Umakanta Rajkonwar, who died a few years ago.
Accused in several cases, including that of waging war against India, Rajkhowa has an Interpol Red Corner notice against him. He has been out of India since 1992 and is said to have lived in places like Myanmar, Thailand, Bhutan apart from Bangladesh. PTI

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