GUWAHATI: A CBI judge of a special court in Guwahati on Monday convicted 15 people, including the chief of insurgent group National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) Ranjan Daimary, in connection with the October 30, 2008 serial blasts case in the state in which 88 people were killed and 540 others injured.
The court will pronounce the quantum of punishment on Wednesday, January 30, special public prosecutor TD Goswami told reporters.
“Today, the honourable court convicted all 15 people who came under the trial. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced day after tomorrow (Wednesday) following a hearing,” he said adding, “We will demand death sentence for all of them as so many people were killed in the blasts”.
The family of Daimary was visibly unhappy over the conviction. “What we feel is that peace process and this kind of judgement cannot go together,” his sister and activist Anjali Daimary said.
In 2009, the CBI had filed a charge-sheet against 22 people, including prime accused Daimary. Seven of them were absconding. Of the seven absconders, three died in due course.
CBI’s investigating officer N S Yadav said the 15 people, mostly NDFB rebels, were convicted under Sections 302, 324, 326, 435 and 436 of Indian Penal Code, Sections 3 and 4 of Explosives Act and Sections 10, 13, 16, 18 and 20 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The NDFB had triggered nine blasts that day in which 53 people were killed in the three blasts in Guwahati, 20 in the three blasts in Kokrajhar and 15 in Barpeta Road. Nobody died in the blast at Bongaigaon.
Altogether 14 cases were registered against Daimary who ostensibly had planned the attacks from his hideout in Bangladesh. He was arrested in the country in 2010 and handed over to Indian authorities. In 2013, he managed to walk out on bail after the CBI had not opposed his conditional bail as by that time his group was taking part in peace talks with the Central government. The NDFB suffered a split in 2008 after the probe agencies had named Daimary as the blasts mastermind.