Guwahati, Nov 11: Resident of Chabua in Dibrugarh, 58-year-old Anup Chetia alias Golap Baruah alias Sunil Baruah alias Bhaijan alias Ahmed, had played a crucial role in the formation of ULFA in 1979.
Observers say his extradition will give a boost to the ongoing peace dialogue with the pro-talks faction of ULFA on one hand, and further isolate the outfit's elusive commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah on the other.
Incidentally, Chetia, a Motock by tribe, is a first cousin of Paresh Baruah.
Knowledgeable circles say the leadership of the current pro-talks ULFA group, which is engaged in talks with the government, has been weak and unconvincing.
Chetia, on the other hand, is known to be a person with foresight and shrewd planning-magement skills. His presence in the negotiations will give more weight and substance to the exercise, it is said.
After the Bihar debacle, the BJP government is desperate to turn the tables in Assam which goes to polls early next year.
Kiren Rijiju, BJP's Northeast pointsman, had hinted yesterday that the ball has been set in motion to grant ST status to the six ethnic communities of the State.
Chetia's extradition today is another indicator that the BJP is going to leave no stone unturned to wrest Dispur.
Chetia being a Mottock will also give the talks more acceptability among the indigenous tribal communities.
The ULFA 'general secretary', who was first arrested in Kolkata in 1991, was part of the first round of talks held in 1992. The five member ULFA delegation in that negotiation comprised 'central committee' members Robin Neog, Kamal Bora, Siddhartha Phukan and Sabhan Saikia and was held in the presence of the Prime Minister and Home Minister in New Delhi.
Chetia fled on the plea that he would have to go to the jungles to convince the other ULFA leaders for peace talks.