Punish other militants: Assam blast verdict spur demand

A replica of The Thinker, by French Sculptor Auguste Rodin, under a flyover in Guwahati, as a memorial of a bomb blast in 2008. Photo by Manash Das, Guwahati

The life terms awarded to 10 NDFB militants including its chief Ranjan Daimary in 2008 Assam serial blasts case on Wednesday triggered demand for similar action against members of other militant groups currently engaged in peace talks.

“Why is the government putting the head of NDFB in jail when the peace process is on? If the NDFB members are convicted, why not leaders of other organisations too?” Ranjan’s younger sister Anjali Daimary asked soon after the special court’s verdict.

Terror Victims Family Forum, comprising nearly 5,000 militancy-affected families demanded that cases, which were either withdrawn or remained pending be re-opened and fast-tracked for giving them justice. “We welcome the court’s verdict against Daimary and others but those who fell victim of attacks by other militant groups in the past must also be tried and punished similarly. We can not allow the killers to move freely in the name of peace talks in a democratic country like ours,” the forum’s organising secretary Indranil Kalita told DH.

 He reiterated their demand for reopening cases against former members of Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT), Ulfa, Karbi Longri National Liberation Front (KLNLF) and others.

Cases against BLT members were withdrawn after the outfit led by Hagrama Mohilary had signed the Bodo Accord in 2003, contested elections and become chief of Bodoland Territorial Council, an autonomous council under Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

Daimary-faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), was formed with demand for “sovereign Bodoland” but it later scaled down its demand and joined the movement for separate Bodoland state. Daimary, who was brought to Assam after his arrest in Bangladesh in 2010, was released on bail in June 2013 for talks. The trial for the nine serial bomb blasts on October 30, 2008, however, was fast-tracked simultaneously.

Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi on Monday told the Assembly that the government had signed suspension of operation agreement with at least 13 militant groups for establishing peace through talks. These groups are NDFB (Progressive), Ulfa, KLNLF, NDFB (Ranjan), Adivasi Cobra Military of Assam, Birsa Commando Force, Kuki Liberation Army, UKDA, KLA, HPC, APA, AANLA and STF. Ulfa (Independent) and NDFB (S), however, continue to be active.

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Punish other militants: Assam blast verdict spur demand

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