India has used the presence of the Chinese Public Security Minister to demand action against fugitive ULFA leader Paresh Baruah and a crackdown on smuggling of arms and narcotics into India’s Northeast.
The protracted issue of action against Baruah figured during the meeting between India and China during the visit of Zhao Kezhi, public security minister this week.
Barua who fled from Bangladesh on the eve of Sheikh Hasina’s re – elect ion in 2008 is understood to be hiding along the Myanmar-China border and undertakes frequent visits to China.
The ISI-backed Baruah remains elusive even as the other members of the ULFA leadership were handed over to India by the Hasina government in 2009, months after she returned to power. Baruah has also been named in the 10 truck arms smuggling case by the Bangladesh government.
The arms being allegedly smuggled from China in 2004 were meant for insurgent groups in the northeast. Baruah was a key player in the episode along with ministers from the BNP-Jamaat government of the day and Pakistan’s ISI, sources recalled.