Major General, 6 Other Armymen Sentenced To Life Imprisonment In Assam Fake Encounter Case

| October 15 , 2018 , 08:20 IST

A total of 7 Armymen, including a Major General, have been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by a Summary General Court Martial (SGCM) of the Indian Army in connection with a 24-year-old fake encounter case in Assam, the Army said on Sunday.

According to sources in an Indian Army unit based in Dibrugarh, Major General AK Lal, Colonel Thomas Mathew, Colonel RS Sibiren, Captain Dilip Singh, Captain Jagdeo Singh, Naik Albindar Singh and Naik Shivendar Singh have been awarded life imprisonment for their involvement in a fake encounter case in the Tinsukia district of Assam in 1994.

While the court martial process began on July 16 this year, it concluded on July 27 and the quantum of punishment was pronounced by the Army court on Saturday.

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BJP leader and former Assam Minister Jagadish Bhuyan, the petitioner in the case, said that 9 youths, associated with the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) were picked up by the Army on February 18, 1994 from different areas of Assam's Tinsukia.

The youths were suspected of being involved in the murder of a top tea garden executive. While 4 of the youths were released, a few days later, the dead bodies of 5 of the youths picked up by the Army were recovered from a forest area, reportedly killed in an encounter. The deceased youths were identified as Prabin Sonowal, Pradip Dutta, Debajit Biswas, Akhil Sonowal, Bhaben Moran and were branded as ULFA militants by the soldiers.

Bhuyan expressed happiness over the verdict given by the Army Court.

"I strongly believe in our judicial system, democracy and discipline and neutrality of the Indian Army," said Bhuyan.

"This order is really important because it shows how strong Indian judiciary, Indian Army’s discipline and the democratic system of our country are. This order shows that anyone in this country can get justice. I am thankful to the High Court, the Supreme Court and the Indian Army," he said.