Bangladesh sentences top Indian insurgents to life

Members of the insurgent group United Liberation Front of Asom.

DHAKA - A court in Bangladesh's north Wednesday sentenced two Indian insurgents to life in prison for using Bangladeshi territory to carry out militant attacks across the border in Assam, a prosecutor said.

Ranjan Chowdhury, alias Major Ranjan, and Prodip Marak were sentenced in a district court in the town of Kishoreganj amid tight security over their roles in a separatist movement in neighbouring India's northeast Assam state.

"Both were present in the court when the judge convicted them and then sentenced them to life in prison under the country's arms act and anti-terrorism act," chief prosecutor Shah Azizul Haque told AFP.

The pair were arrested in 2010 in Bangladesh, from where they planned attacks in India as members of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).

"Both are senior officials in ULFA and they had been using Bangladesh territory for years to carry out guerrilla war in the Indian state of Assam before they were arrested with arms and explosives," the prosecutor said.

It is the second time Bangladesh has convicted Indian insurgents after ULFA's general secretary was sentenced following his arrest in 1997.

India has long maintained that separatist groups from its restive northeast have set up camps in Bangladesh, which shares a 4,096-kilometre (2,545-mile) border with its giant neighbour.