Gauhati HC acquits six in 2004 Dhemaji bomb blast case
On Thursday, the high court reversed the 2019 verdict of the lower court after observing that sufficient evidence against the convicted individuals had not been produced
The Gauhati High Court on Thursday overturned the 2019 verdict of an Assam court by acquitting all six convicts in the 2004 Independence Day Dhemaji bomb blast case of all charges.
Six persons were found guilty by the Dhemaji District and Sessions Court in July 2019. Of them, four were handed life sentences, while two others received four years of rigorous imprisonment.
On Thursday, the high court reversed the 2019 verdict of the lower court after observing that sufficient evidence against the convicted individuals had not been produced.
On 15 August, 2004, a bomb exploded in Dhemaji during the Independence Day celebrations, killing 18 people, including 14 schoolchildren, and critically injuring at least 40 others.
The banned militant outfit United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) had claimed responsibility for the attack, and within a short time, the police had arrested at least 14 people.
The accused were charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which deals with criminal conspiracy, Section 302 of the IPC, and others.
After several hearings, the Dhemaji District and Sessions Court determined that six of the 14 accused were guilty of both the blast and multiple deaths. As a result, Dipanjali Burhagohain, Muhi Handique, Jatin Dubori, and Leela Gogoi received life sentences of solitary confinement. Each of them were also asked to pay a fine of Rs 10,000.
Two other accused, Prashanta Bhuyan and Hemen Gogoi were handed four years' RI and fines of Rs 2,000 for their roles in the conspiracy.
The district court absolved eight other accused — Minu Borah, Joya Chutiya, Jiten Chutiya, Apsara Bora, Govind Kalita, Jaychandra Chutiya, Chandranath Gogoi, and Mohan Chutiya, of all allegations.
Later, the convicts filed a petition in Gauhati High Court to review their challenge to the lower court's judgment.
Published: 24 Aug 2023, 6:54 PM