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Verdict on first cases registered by NIA over Assam terror funding deferred by a week

The cases relate to siphoning of crores of rupees meant for an autonomous district council to fund a terror outfit.

india Updated: May 15, 2017 14:52 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
NIA,Terror funding,DHD (J)
The NIA registered two cases over terror funding in Assam in 2009, the first by the agency after its inception in 2008 (HT Photo for representational purpose only)

A special court in Guwahati on Monday deferred by another week the judgement on the first two cases registered by National Investigation Agency (NIA) since its inception in 2008.

The cases relate to siphoning of several crores of Assam government funds to Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel), an Assam based terror outfit now disbanded, for procurement of arms from abroad to carry out their activities.

Tough the judgement of the cases registered eight years ago was expected today, the court of special judge Rabin Phukan postponed it till May 22.

“The court sought clarification on four points from the prosecution. Hence the judgement was postponed by a week,” defence counsel Bijan Mahajan told journalists outside the court.

The agency had registered the cases (RC-01/2009 and RC-02/2009) on June 5, 2009 following handing over of investigation of two separate cases registered by Assam Police relating to recovery of large amount of unaccounted cash.

The matter came to light following the arrest of two persons, Phojendro Hojai and Babul Kemprai, both the DHD (J) cadres, with Rs 1 crore in cash and arms in Guwahati in April, 2009.

The case was later handed over to NIA in June.

Formed after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, the NIA is empowered to investigate terror related crimes across states.

During investigation it was revealed that the DHD (J) had 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

Chargesheet was filed against 15 accused including Jewel Garlosa, former chairman of the DHD (J), outfit’s former commander-in-chief Niranjan Hojai, former chief executive member of the NCHAC Mohet Hojai and RH Khan, a senior government officer.

A supplementary charge sheet was filed in 2011 against another accused.

During investigation the agency had recovered several weapons procured with the siphoned money. They included five M-16 rifles made in Singapore and one 9 mm Beretta pistol.

“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 charge sheet stated.

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, three persons including members of the NCHAC were arrested following 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.

First Published: May 15, 2017 11:33 IST