GUWAHATI, May 24 � The designated TADA Court, Assam, today acquitted ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa in connection with the high-profile murder of Surinder Paul, chairman, Frontier Tea Company Limited, who was shot dead by an unknown youth in April 9, 1990.
The TADA case number 84/92 was registered under Sec 302, 307, 326, read with Sec 3(2), (i) (ii) of the TADA act. Advocate Bijon Mahajan and associates appeared on behalf of the accused.
The Court while pronouncing the acquittal order, observed that investigators have failed to substantiate and prove its case against the accused beyond all reasonable doubts and the accused person is not guilty of the charge leveled against him and hence be released forthwith.
Surinder Paul was shot dead when he along with Ashish Kumar Choudhury, general manager, Frontier Tea Company Limited was coming from Mohanbari airport towards Talap Tea Estate. The senior tea company officials were fired at by an unidentified youth at Laipuli in Tinsukia.
Paul died on the way to the hospital, Choudhury sustained bullet injuries.
Following the incident, a complaint was filed by Om Bahadur Prahan of the Assam Frontier Tea Company Limited with the Tinsukia police and subsequently, the investigators filed the charge-sheet naming six accused including Arabinda Rajkhowa, ULFA �c-in-c� Paresh Baruah, vice president Pradeep Gogoi, general secretary Anup Chetia and senior leaders like Jugal Kishore Mahanta and Saurav Gogoi.
While Paresh Baruah and Anup Chetia were declared absconders, the Court on February 2, 2005, had acquitted others, barring Rajkhowa (was facing trial).