20 Indians get jail term in Myanmar

A court has sentenced Indians from Manipur, held in May for timber logging, to over 10 yrs in prison.

india Updated: Aug 31, 2006 11:16 IST

A court in western Myanmar has sentenced 20 Indian nationals, arrested in May for timber logging, to over 10 years each in prison.

Twenty-one Indians from the northeastern state of Manipur, including a six-year-old boy, were arrested near the India-Myanmar border May 6 along with three trucks near Aisi village in Tonzang area in Chin state.

They were also charged with illegally crossing the international boundary.

A Tonzang lawyer told Mizzima News the court released the boy because he was underage but charged 19 others for illegal logging and one for poaching.

While the Indian charged for poaching was sentenced to 15 years in prison, the 19 others were sentenced to 12 years, a legal source said.

The 20 convicted would be shifted to the Inndainggyi prison-cum-labour camp in Sagaing division.

According to the source, the legal proceedings at the Tonzang township court were done in a hurry following New Delhi's intervention.

Earlier this month, Mani Charenamei, an MP from Manipur, raised the issue in parliament and also met Myanmarese embassy officials here to discuss the matter.

First Published: Aug 31, 2006 11:16 IST