It will facilitate faster handover of fugitives

India and Bangladesh are likely to sign an extradition treaty during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's September 6-7 Dhaka visit, according to sources in the Home Ministry.

The two countries have agreements on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, transfer of sentenced persons and fight against international terrorism, organised crime and illicit drug trafficking.

An extradition treaty will take mutual cooperation to another level and facilitate faster handing over of fugitives to each other's law enforcement authorities.

India is looking forward to take into custody Anup Chettia, general secretary of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA). The treaty will facilitate his transfer from Dhaka to New Delhi.

The ULFA and the Union and Assam governments have signed a Suspension of Operations agreement. ULFA leaders, now back in India and on board the peace process, were living in Bangladesh for the past several years.

Commander-in-chief of ULFA Paresh Baruah, who is opposed to the peace process and talks with the government, was also living in Bangladesh for the past many years but is said to be now based somewhere on the China-Myanmar border. The sources said the elusive Baruah was believed to be living under a new name and identity and his children have also changed their identities.

Leaders of some other insurgent groups, mainly from the northeastern region, are also suspected to be holed up in Bangladesh. If backed by concrete evidence, India will be able to seek their extradition.

Home Secretary-level talks and a Joint Working Group meeting were held in Dhaka on January 18-20 this year where both sides discussed all issues related to security and border management.

The second Director-General talks between the narcotics control agencies of the two countries were also held in Dhaka on March 23-24.

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