The National Investigation Agency Special Court in Guwahati has sentenced a Bodo militant Rabi Basumatary to life imprisonment in a 2014 case of indiscriminate firing on villagers in Assam, the agency said on Wednesday.
Known by other aliases such as Rongjabaja and Rabi, the Bodo militant was also awarded rigorous imprisonment for 10 years along with life imprisonment in various cases of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Rabi, who was convicted by the court on March 13, has been sentenced to life imprisonment in two cases and rigorous imprisonment in two others under charges of Sections 302, 307 and 34 of the IPC and section 16 (1) (a) & 20 of the UA (P) Act, 1967.
The Bodo militant has also been fined in all the cases, and will have to undergo additional simple imprisonment in case of failure to pay the same, said the NIA, adding "all the substantive sentences will run concurrently."
Seven villagers were killed and two grievously injured in the case, in which Rabi was arrested in September 2016 and chargesheeted by the NIA in March 2017 through the first supplementary chargesheet.
The original chargesheet in the case was filed in Gossaigaon (Balapara), Assam, against accused Pradip Brahma alias Pwler in August 2015. A second supplementary chargesheet was filed in October 2019 against accused Upen Basumatary alias Usaobadao, while a third supplementary chargesheet was filed in January 2021 against five absconding accused persons.
The Special NIA Court convicted and sentenced accused Pradip Brahma to life imprisonment in July 2016. The trial against Upen is ongoing and the search for the absconding accused is continuing.
Investigations into the case revealed that Rabi was a member of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB), an armed separatist outfit fighting to obtain a sovereign Boroland for the Bodo people.
On May 1, 2014, Rabi, along with six other NDFB cadres, had entered Balapra village under the Gosaigaon Police Station area of Kokrajhar district of Assam, where they opened indiscriminate fire on the villagers on instructions from top NDFB leadership headed by G.Bidai and Songbijit. The Special NIA Court subsequently registered the case as Special Case in 2015. (ANI)