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Justice still eludes Dhemaji blast victims

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, May 9 � Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor among the terrorists involved in the Mumbai terror attacks has been awarded death sentence within one and a half years of the incident, but the families of those killed in gruesome attack in Dhemaji on the Independence Day in 2004 are still waiting for justice as the Assam Police has not yet been able to file the chargesheet of the case. A major hue and cry was raised all over the state in protest against the killing of 13 women and children in Dhemaji in one of the worst militant attacks, but unfortunately, most of the political parties and organisations, who launched statewide movements immediately after the incident, are now silent on the issue of punishing those involved.

The Assam Tribune today spoke to family members of a few unfortunate victims of the Dhemaji blast and they are now frustrated as even after six years, those involved in the dastardly act are not punished and even the charge sheet has not been filed by the police. They pointed out that Kasab was sentenced just because of the fact that the incident occurred in Mumbai but because their family members were killed in a remote place like Dhemaji, the Government of India or the Assam Government were not bothered about giving justice to the members of the families who lost their near and dear ones. Though the Government paid compensation to the families of those killed, no amount of compensation can fill up the void created and the families only want justice.

Dipen Saikia, who lost his two young daughters Aruna and Rupa, is still waiting to see the culprits punished. �Those involved in the killing in Dhemaji must be punished,� he said. He said that they are frustrated because of the fact that the police has not even been able to file the chargesheet of the case and �we are still waiting for justice.� He pointed out that only filing of the chargesheet of the case would make people of Assam aware who were involved in the dastardly attack. He also said that the chargesheet of the cases relating to the serial blasts of October 30, 2008, where NDFB chief Ranjan Daimary was the prime accused, was filed only because the cases were handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and �despite our repeated demands, the Government did not take any step to ensure justice to us by punishing those involved.�

Bhaskar Gogoi, who lost his wife Namita Gogoi, alleged that the families of the victims of the Dhemaji blast were neglected as �we are yet to get justice. Kasab, who was involved in Mumbai attacks, was sentenced to death but those involved in Dhemaji attack are yet to be given any punishment. This makes us think whether we are neglected only because we live in a remote part of the country and the victims of Mumbai attacks got justice only because they live in a metropolitan city.� He said that only filing of the chargesheet of the case would make public the names of those involved in the incident, but unfortunately, the Government has not been able to do so and the Government of India also did not take any interest in providing justice to the families who lost their near and dear ones. He also said that he is keen on meeting the leaders of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to ask them as to why they killed innocent women and children.

Padmeswar Borgohain, who lost his teenaged daughter Manashi, wondered whether the Government was playing with the sentiments of the families of those who lost their lives by not punishing the guilty even after six years of the incident. He asserted that those involved in the killing of women and children must be punished.

Borgogain said, �the Chief Minister will know as to why the chargesheet of the case has not yet been filed to punish the guilty. When the Chief Minister came to Dhemaji to inaugurate the memorial column he assured that the chargesheet would be filed soon and those guilty would be punished. But nothing happened till date and we are still waiting for justice. Some of us went to Guwahati to meet the Chief Minister but we could not meet him. The Chief Minister also did not fulfill the other assurances he gave to the families of those who lost their lives.�

Borgohain demanded that if the Assam Police cannot complete the investigation of the case to punish the guilty, the case should be handed over to the CBI as �we want punishment of the guilty.� He also pointed out that some others must have extended help to the militants in planting the bomb and they should also be punished along with those directly involved. He said that the district administration also did not consult the families of those killed while constructing the memorial column, which is unfortunate.

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