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2004 Chandauli blast: 17 years after ‘Maoist’ attack, 39 acquitted

On November 20, 2004, a police team and a team of PAC troopers were out patrolling the Hinaut Ghat area of Naugarh. The truck carrying PAC jawans was hit by a landmine planted by suspected Leftist rebels.

Written by Manish Sahu | Lucknow |
November 18, 2021 5:22:31 am

A local court in Chandauli district has acquitted 39 people charged in connection with a suspected Naxalite attack in 2004 on a truck transporting policemen and Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel. Fourteen PAC jawans and a policeman died, and five jawans were injured in the explosion in the jungles of Hinaut Ghat in the district’s Naugarh block.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Jagdish Prasad acquitted the accused on Tuesday for want of evidence, government district counsel Sanjay Tripathi said on Wednesday.

“Seventeen accused who were lodged in jail have been released on the court’s order. The court had acquitted all the accused because there was no scientific evidence against them. Police had arrested people in the case on the basis of the statement of another accused,” said defence counsel Rakesh Ratan Tiwari.

In all, the court examined 17 prosecution witnesses.

“The fact witnesses of the case did not support the prosecution story. The recovery of weapons from the accused also could not be linked,” said Tripathi.

The government counsel said the authorities would approach the court for a copy of the judgement. “After going through the judgement copy, then only I can say something on it,” he added.

On November 20, 2004, a police team and a team of PAC troopers were out patrolling the Hinaut Ghat area of Naugarh. The truck carrying PAC jawans was hit by a landmine planted by suspected Leftist rebels.

An FIR was registered against unidentified Naxalites at the Naugharh police station.

The government counsel said the police initially filed a chargesheet against 45 people. Most of the accused were from Naugarh and its surrounding areas. Some of the accused died during the trial.

At a meeting of Left Wing Extremism-affected states two years ago, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said that Naxal activities were fully under control in the state and the wheel of development was moving even in the areas affected by the menace. He also said that one company of the PAC is stationed in Mirzapur, while five companies, one platoon of the PAC and two companies of the CRPF are deployed in Sonbhadra. Two companies of the PAC and one company of the CRPF have also been deployed in Chandauli.

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