‘Lawyer-killer’ Ranjan Daimary has put advocates in Assam in a dilemma.
Daimary, chairman of militant outfit National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Ndfb), was arrested on Sunday after Bangladesh handed him over to the Border Security Force at Dawki in Meghalaya.
Soon after his arrest, the Lawyers’ Association of Guwahati (LAG) resolved not to plead for Daimary.
Reason: CBI had named Daimary – he is being likened to Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasav – the mastermind of the 30 October 2008 serial blasts in Assam that killed 92 persons, over 20 of them at the parking lot of the Kamrup Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court in Guwahati.
Daimary, police said, confessed to having planned those serial blasts while apologizing for an “operation that was far more destructive than intended."
“The blasts killed three advocates and one employee of the CJM court, and pleading for Daimary would be a blot on our fraternity besides betraying their souls,” said LAG president Tarun Singha Lahkar. “We might have considered his case had the Ndfb not attacked the court.”
Former LAG secretary Deepak Das scotched allegations that the advocates’ body was discriminating against Daimary because he belonged to the Bodo tribe. “We had in our complaints after the blasts sought action against the culprits and not any tribal leader or groups. The culprits happened to be Daimary and his men later on.”
The All Assam Lawyers’ Association has appealed to members to weigh their conscience before taking up Daimary’s case. But some members are not sure if lawyers should ignore the Advocates Act of 1961 in denying justice to Daimary.
“The Act says justice cannot be denied to anyone who seeks it, and a decision against a particular militant leader or outfit should be applicable to all rebels,” said advocate Aparajita Bhuyan.
An advocate victimized by militants has offered counsel for the Ndfb chief. “Personal tragedies cannot come in the way of providing legal service,” said Hemen K Bora, an advocate based at Jorhat, a central Assam town 260 km east of Guwahati. United Liberation Front of Asom militants had killed Bora’s brother a few years ago.
Most victims of militant subversion want nothing but the noose for Daimary and others of his ilk. “Just as they have destroyed our lives, these killers and their kin should also be made to suffer,” said Purnima Begum, whose husband was killed in one of the 30 October 2008 blasts.