A SPECIAL court of the National Investigating Agency (NIA) here on Tuesday handed out life imprisonment to three people, including a militant-turned-BJP leader in Assam and government officials, as part of two cases of conniving to siphon off government money to fund a terrorist outfit in the state. On Monday, the court had convicted 15 people in the two cases — the first cases the NIA was entrusted with after it was formed in 2009.
The others were sentenced to jail terms of varying duration. Those sentenced for life term are Niranjan Hojai, a former self-styled commander-in-chief of the terror outfit DHD(J), who later surrendered, joined the BJP last year and got elected to the NC Hills Autonomous Council; Jewel Garlosa, a former self-styled chairman of DHD(J) and at present an independent member of the Hills Council; and Mohet Hojai, a former chief executive member of the Council.
The Assam BJP is examining the scope of moving Gauhati High Court to get Niranjan Hojai out of the tangle, state party spokesperson Bijan Mahajan said. Five people have been awarded separate jail terms of 10 years and 12 years under different Sections: R H Khan, deputy director in the state Social Welfare Department and OSD of the Hills Council; Phojendra Hojai, a contractor; DHD(J) member Ashringdao Warissa; Mizoram arms smuggler Vanlalchana; and Kolkata-based contractor Jayanta Kumar Ghosh.
Seven people were sentenced to two separate eight-year jail terms each: contractors Golon Daulagupu, Sandip Ghosh, Babu Kemprai and Debasish Bhattacharjee; hawala operator Malsawmkimi; public health chief engineer Karuna Saikia; and another government employee, Jibangshu Paul. Another accused, Samir Ahmed, who had earlier pleaded guilty, has been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.