In the 2008 case of serial bomb blasts in Assam that had left 88 people dead, Ranjan Daimary, the chief of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and 14 others were on Monday convicted by a CBI fast track court.
CBI Special Judge Aparesh Chakraborty convicted them under various sections of the IPC. The quantum of the punishment will be announced on Wednesday.
Besides Daimary, others convicted in the case are George Bodo, B Tharai, Raju Sarkar, Nilim Daimary, Anchai Bodo, Indra Brahma, Loko Basumatary, Khargeswar Basumatary, Prabhat Bodo, Jayanta Bodo, Ajay Basumatary, Mridul Goyary, Mathuram Brahma and Rajen Goyary.
The serial blasts were triggered by the NDFB on October 30, 2008 in Guwahati, Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon and Barpeta, killing 88 people and injuring more than 500.
The CBI had taken over the case from Assam Police and had filed two charge sheets, naming 22 accused - seven of them still absconding.
The first charge sheet was filed in 2009, followed by the second and the final one on December 20, 2010 and the trial began in 2011 and the fast track court took over the case in 2017.
During the course of the trial, the statements of 650 witnesses were recorded and over 600 exhibits examined. Daimary was arrested in Bangladesh in 2010 and was shifted to Guwahati Central Jail.
He was released on conditional bail in 2013 after the state government and the CBI stated before the Kamrup District and Sessions Judge that they had 'no objection' to his release, if he was given conditional bail in view of the ongoing peace talks with the NDFB.
The court had imposed eight conditions, including restrictions on Daimary from holding public meetings and media interviews.
Barring Daimary, all others are currently in judicial custody.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine