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HC seeks original docs pertaining to 'missing' ULFA leaders
K Anurag in Guwahati | March 14, 2007 12:18 IST
The Guwahati High Court has directed the government of India to submit before it the 'original' document related to the status of the members of the banned United Liberation Front of Asom who went 'missing' since Royal Bhutan Army's Operation All Clear against the militant group's base in Bhutan in December, 2003.
A division bench of the High Court set March 30, 2007 as the deadline for the submission of the documents in original by Delhi.
The ULFA militants were 'handed over' to Indian authorities by Bhutan following the December, 2003 operation by the RBA to flush out ULFA militants from the Himalayan kingdom.
The court on Tuesday heard a habeas corpus petition filed by Shyamalee Gogoi alias Jnanama Moran who wanted to know the whereabouts of her husband Punaram Dihingia, alias Prakash Gogoi, and a ULFA member.
In her petition filed before the court in January, 2005, Shyamalee claimed that she, her husband and senior ULFA leaders Bening Rabha, Robin Neog and Ashanta Baghphukon were arrested in Bhutan on December 18, 2003 and handed over to Indian Army on December 24, 2003.
The Court earlier directed the central government to submit a list of 'missing' ULFA members on May 30, 2006. Subsequently, the Centre submitted a list before the court in a sealed cover on June 30, 2006.
However, the division bench of the court, comprising Acting Chief Justice D Biswas and Justice H N Sarma declined to take cognisance of the evidence on the ground that the documents were not 'original' and hence directed the Centre to submit the 'original' document on March 30.
The Court also directed the Assam government to submit the list of the persons who were handed over to it by the Indian Army after Operation All Clear, by filing an affidavit on March 30.
The High Court had appointed senior Supreme Court advocate P K Goswami as amicus curae in the case last year. Senior advocates Bijan Mahajan and Raju Pradhan are representing the petitioner in the case.
The banned ULFA has been demanding that New Delhi must trace its 'missing' senior leaders Bening Rabha, Robin Neog and Ashanta Baghphukon - as one of pre-conditions for direct peace talks.