Guwahati, Dec 3 (IANS): Chairman of the outlawed United National Liberation Front (UNLF) Rajkumar Meghen of Manipur Friday claimed he was not arrested in India but was handed over to Indian authorities after being `kidnapped` in Bangladesh Sep 29.
`I was not arrested here but kidnapped by the Bangladesh police on Sep 29 (2010) and then handed over to India,` the 63-year-old Meghen told IANS outside the premises of a local court in Assam`s main city of Guwahati.
The court Friday had sent the separatist leader from the northeastern state of Manipur to 13 days remand with the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The NIA said Meghen was arrested Tuesday from near Motihari in Bihar`s East Champaran district when the rebel leader was trying to cross over to Nepal.
`This is absolutely false. I was kidnapped in Bangladesh Sep 29,` Meghen said.
Meghen rejected any offers for peace talks with New Delhi.
`There is absolutely no question of holding talks with the government until and unless there is a plebiscite held in Manipur on our demands,` the UNLF chairman said.
The UNLF is the most influential of the nearly 19 odd rebel armies in Manipur with the outfit since its inception in 1964 fighting for an independent homeland for the majority Meitei community in a state of 2.4 million people.
The nearly six feet tall Meghen was sought by Interpol with red corner notices served against him with criminal charges ranging from murder to kidnappings and robberies.
Dhaka had handed over at least 20 top northeast militant leaders and their families to India after capturing them in Bangladesh.
Interestingly, Meghen found a friend in Ranjan Daimary, chairman of the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), inside the same court – the jailed NDFB chief was also brought to the same courtroom in connection with a case.
The two separatist leaders exchanged pleasantries and both were heard talking and wishing each other all the best in their respective fight for independence.
`I wish you all the best,` Daimary was heard telling Meghen as the two leaders crossed each other while entering the courtroom.
NNN adds from Guwahati: The Chairman of United National Liberation Front (UNLF), RK Meghen alias RK Sanayaima was produced in a special court in Guwahati today. The court remanded the militant leader 13 days in the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
According to M Gunedhar Singh, the legal counsel of the UNLF leader, RK Sanayaima was produced in the special court in Guwahati today and after hearing both sides, the court remanded him in 13 days’ custody of the NIA.
M. Gunedhar Singh said that he had made three appeals that RK Meghen be remanded in the NIA custody at the most for 13 days and also that the UNLF chairman is interrogated in the presence of his lawyers and then his health check-up is done every alternate day. “The court agreed to all of our appeals,’ Gunedhar said.
According sources, the NIA had sought 20 days custody of RK Meghen alias RK Sanayaima.
M. Gunedhar Singh said the UNLF leader had told the court that he was detained in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on September 29 and brought to Motihari in Bihar via Kolkata only on November 30. Meghen had made a similar statement before media persons while being brought out of the court on Friday.
‘He was given only water and no food while being brought to Kolkata from Jessore in Bangladesh,’ Gunedhar Singh said quoting RK Meghen.
The legal counsel of Meghen said, ‘His health appears to be fine. But mentally, he is certainly down after over 60 days of secret detention”.
Gunedhar Singh said, ‘However, we will get to know of the condition of his health in a couple of days’ time when he undergoes a health check-up”.
The NIA had claimed that the UNLF chief was arrested in Motihari, Bihar on November 30. The BBC had though reported that he was arrested on September 29 in Bangladesh.
According to the BBC news reported in the mid of October UNLF chairman, Sanayaima aka RK Meghen, was arrested at Lalmatia locality in Bangladesh on September 29, 2010 by a joint team of Bangladeshi and Indian sleuths and reportedly extradited to India surreptitiously. The arrest was promptly reported by BBC news which was carried by regional newspapers subsequently thereafter. With the arrest taking a political turn, Bangladesh Communist Party was approached by its Indian counterpart to confirm the veracity of the news who sometimes in November relayed its confirmation in the affirmative. However, with the Government of India sitting in stoic silence over the issue, neither agreeing not disagreeing on the arrest, the people of the State rose up in protest against the government’s double standard and began to question its dispensation on theory and praxis of honoring international law.
However, two days ago, reports came up that RK Meghen was arrested by a joint team of Bihar and Manipur police at Motihari in East Champaran district of Bihar on the afternoon of November 30 following a tip-off was confirmed by Superintendent of Police in Bihar , Parash Nath and DGP Bihar sufficiently. Accordingly the rebel leader was produced before Motihari CJM under huge security cover.