SHILLONG, Feb 22 - Former Meghalaya police DSP-turned-militant chief of Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), Champion Sangma was granted bail by a lower court here on Tuesday.
However, the GNLA chief is still under judicial custody as some of the legal formalities are slated to be completed within the next ten days or so. He has been directed by the Court to furnish a bond amount of Rs 1 lakh in the meantime.
Sangma is in judicial custody for over three years now after his arrest near Dawki on the Indo-Bangladesh border in 2012. He is said to have been arrested in Mymensingh, Bangladesh and pushed back to India. He was booked under Meghalaya Prevention of Detention Act (MPDA).
According to Sangma�s legal counsel, the case against the militant chief weakened as the �authorities didn�t comply with the basic norms of MPDA Act.� The Supreme Court and the High Court set aside the case against Sangma due to these flaws.
Finally, the Meghalaya High Court directed the lower Court on February 14 this year to adjudicate the case and dispose it off within the next 20 days. So Sangma should technically walk free from jail on or before March 6.
Meanwhile, Sangma has now been shifted to Shillong Civil Hospital, with the permission of the court, as he complained of backpain. But the court has directed that Sangma must not leave its jurisdiction and has to attend the trial.
The former DSP has been quite a handful for the jail authorities during his stay in the jail, much like the militant organisation he floated in 2009, which has so far claimed the lives of many innocent people and unleashed a reign of terror in Garo Hills.
Sangma is said to be close to some politicians and he claimed after his arrest that three politicians were supporting his organisation � an allegation which remains a mystery till now. He thereafter made another controversial statement promising that GNLA would support the Congress party during the 2013 elections. GNLA is still a force to reckon with in Garo Hills and counter-insurgency operations are on against it.