All accused in first two NIA cases of terror-funding in Assam held guilty
A special court in Guwahati on Monday pronounced all 14 accused, including former militants, elected representatives and government officials, as guilty in the first 2 cases registered by National Investigation Agency (NIA) related to terror-funding in Assam.
Special judge Rabin Phukan held the 13 accused in the first case and 2 in the second guilty of the all charges. One of the accused died during the hearing of the case.
The court would decide on the quantum of punishment on Tuesday.
The cases involve siphoning of several crores of Assam government funds to Dima Halim Daogah (Jewel), an Assam-based terror outfit now disbanded, for procurement of arms from abroad to carry out their activities.
A chargesheet was filed against 15 accused including Jewel Garlosa, former chairman of the DHD (J), outfit’s former commander-in-chief Niranjan Hojai, the former chief executive member of the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC) Mohet Hojai and RH Khan, a senior government officer. A supplementary chargesheet was filed in 2011 against another accused.
“Mohet Hojai and other accused public servants, along with accused contractors committed criminal misconduct and defalcated huge sums of money from the funds available with the NCHAC,” the chargesheet stated.
The agency registered the cases on June 5, 2009, after the investigation of 2 separate cases registered by Assam Police relating to recovery of a large amount of unaccounted cash were handed over to it.
The matter came to light following the arrest of 2 men, Phojendro Hojai and Babul Kemprai, both DHD (J) cadres, with Rs 1 crore in cash and arms in Guwahati in April 2009. The case was later handed over to NIA, which was formed after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks to investigate terror-related crimes across states, in June.
During its investigation, the NIA found the DHD (J) used elected representatives of North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC), government officials and contractors to siphon off crores of rupees meant for development work abroad using hawala networks.
The money was later used to procure arms for the outfit and carry out attacks on security forces and civilians.
The agency also recovered several weapons procured with the siphoned money during its investigation. They included 5 M-16 rifles made in Singapore and 1 9mm Beretta pistol.
The money was later channelised through ‘hawala’ operators in Guwahati and Kolkata to arms smugglers who smuggled in arms and supplied to the DHD (J) to carry out acts of terror, it added.
In the second case, 3 people including members of the NCHAC were arrested following a recovery of over Rs 32 lakh in unaccounted cash from the car they were travelling in.
Both cases were tried together by the special court.
The DHD (J) was formally disbanded on November 27, 2012, after a 15-year long insurgency to create a separate state called Dimaraji comprising Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills (now renamed as Dima Hasao) districts of Assam.