Assam: 14 convicted in 2008 serial blasts case

Assam: 14 convicted in 2008 serial blasts case

Moriam pays tribute to her father in Guwahati on Tuesday. Serial blasts by suspected NDFB militants at Ganeshguri and Panbazar and in Bongaigaon and Barpeta Road in western Assam had killed 88 persons and critically injured 124 others on October 30, 2008.

A special court on Monday convicted 14 of the 15 accused in the CBI case related to serial bomb blasts in Assam on October 30, 2008, which had left 88 dead and 141 injured.

Among those convicted include Ranjan Daimary, chairman of NDFB, a banned militant group and two women cadres of the outfit. Daimary is in peace talks with the government and is out on bail since June 2013. 

CBI's special public prosecutor, T D Goswami told DH that the court of justice AK Chakraborty convicted the accused and fixed Wednesday for pronouncing the quantum of punishment.

The near-simultaneous blasts in Guwahati, Kokrajhar, Barpeta Road and Bongaigaon on October 30, 2008, had created mayhem and was termed the deadliest militant attack so far in the state’s nearly 40-year-long militancy history.

Assam had erupted in anger with protests against militancy and calls for strict action against those involved in the attacks. Governments have also faced criticism for delay in justice and even for releasing Daimary on bail before a verdict in the case.  

The CBI, which took over the investigation of the case from Assam police in December 2008, had charge-sheeted 22 accused, including Daimary, in 2011. Of the 22, three were dead and four absconding. 

Goswami said they had produced 650 witnesses and 686 documents in support of their plea for the death sentence for all the accused.

Defence lawyer, Manas Sarania said one accused, Mridul Goyari was acquitted due to lack of sufficient evidence. The accused have been convicted under various sections of IPC, Explosives Substance Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The convicted accused are Ranjan Daimary, George Boro, Ajoy Basumatary, Rahul Brahma, Rajen Goyari, Mothuram Brahma, Raju Sarkar, Prabhat Boro, Onsai Boro, Nilim Daimary, Indra Brahma, Lokra Basumatary, Jayanti Brahma and B. Thorai.

While families of the victims hoped for exemplary punishments to all convicts on Wednesday, Ranjan’s sister Anjali Daimary said the peace process and such convictions can not go together. “If the government is sincere about peace talks, such convictions can not go together. This may hamper the peace process,” she said outside the court premises.

DH on October 30, 2018, had highlighted the plight of the victim families and their10-year-long wait for justice.

The trial of the cases had gathered steam after the special court was set up in December 2017. Daimary’s bail was cancelled and was taken to Guwahati central jail.