B''desh cabinet approves extradition treaty with India
From Anisur Rahman
Dhaka, Jan 28 (PTI) Bangladesh today approved a proposed extradition treaty with India as the two countries are set to ink a crucial deal later today agreeing to deport wanted "criminals" hiding or lodged in each other''s jails.
"The treaty will allow transfer of the convicted and under-trial criminals," Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told reporters emerging from a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina here.
But he said that the treaty would not be applicable for persons accused of offenses of political nature and only those with charges like murders, culpable homicide and other serious offenses would come under the purview of the deal.
He said the offenders of small crimes awarded with less than one year jail will also not be wanted under the treaty.
The move came a week after India took an identical decision clearing the inking of the pact while Dhaka and New Delhi were set to sign the deal following a meeting between Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and his Bangladesh counterpart Dr Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir here.
Bangladeshi and Indian home ministry officials told PTI that both the countries would simultaneously exchange lists of wanted people seeking their deportation.
They said the two countries, at the same time, will also sign an agreement to liberalise the bilateral visa regime.
Shinde arrived in Dhaka as a follow up of his Bangladesh counterpart''s New Delhi tour last month while officials said the two ministers would also hold discussions to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the areas of security, border management, border infrastructure, training and capacity building and people-to-people exchanges.
The two countries agreed to ink the extradition treaty in December alongside an agreement to liberalise visa regime while New Delhi earlier promised to put in efforts to track down two absconding and convicted killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and hand them over to Dhaka as two of them were believed to be hiding in India.
Alamgir last month told reporters in Delhi that "Bangladesh will keep its pledge (but) the matter is now pending before a court" when asked if Dhaka would return jailed Indian separatist ULFA leader Anup Chetia.