Militants-Turned-BJP Leaders, Sentenced To Life Imprisonment For Terrorist Funding
A special court on Monday awarded prison terms to 15 people, including the former chairman and commander-in-chief of a disbanded Assam-based terror outfit, in two cases related to the siphoning of government funds amounting to nearly Rs 1,000 crore for subversive activities.
Three of the convicts were sentenced to life imprisonment.
The cases – which pertained to government officials and elected representatives of the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC) collaborating with militants to procure illegal arms through public funds – were the first to be handled by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) upon its formation in 2009. The embezzlement part of the case is being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The others were sentenced to jail terms of varying duration. Those sentenced for life term are Niranjan Hojai, a former self-styled commander-in-chief of the terror outfit DHD(J), who later surrendered, joined the BJP last year and got elected to the NC Hills Autonomous Council; Jewel Garlosa, a former self-styled chairman of DHD(J) and at present an independent member of the Hills Council; and Mohet Hojai, a former chief executive member of the Council.
The Assam BJP is examining the scope of moving Gauhati High Court to get Niranjan Hojai out of the tangle, state party spokesperson Bijan Mahajan said. Five people have been awarded separate jail terms of 10 years and 12 years under different Sections: R H Khan, deputy director in the state Social Welfare Department and OSD of the Hills Council; Phojendra Hojai, a contractor; DHD(J) member Ashringdao Warissa; Mizoram arms smuggler Vanlalchana; and Kolkata-based contractor Jayanta Kumar Ghosh.
Seven people were sentenced to two separate eight-year jail terms each: contractors Golon Daulagupu, Sandip Ghosh, Babu Kemprai and Debasish Bhattacharjee; hawala operator Malsawmkimi; public health chief engineer Karuna Saikia; and another government employee, Jibangshu Paul. Another accused, Samir Ahmed, who had earlier pleaded guilty, has been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.