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Tripura HC upholds life term of 12 persons and adds one more in 33 yrs old MLA murder case

Tripura HC upholds life term of 12 persons and adds one more in 33 yrs old MLA murder case

A division of bench of high court of Tripura comprising Chief Justice Sanjoy Karol and Justice Arindam Lodh today upheld the decision of the trial court that had convicted 12 persons in killing of a Congress MLA in 1983.

In April 2016, West Tripura additional district and session judge S B Dutta had sentenced 12 convicted to life imprisonment for Tripura’s longest pending and most sensational political murder case of former Congress MLA Parimal Saha in Bishalgarh in 1983. The court had acquitted five accused due to lack of evidence.

However, the high court convicted one more accused from acquitted person Satya Ranjan Das for life term after he was found guilty in the case. Trial court had Satya and four others Arun Kumar Saha, Tapan Kumar Das, Chand Mia and Uttam Kumar Saha.

Parimal Saha, the then Congress MLA was brutally murdered in broad daylight by some CPI(M) leaders near Office Tilla of Bishalgarh on April 7, 1983 that had shocked the entire state. Accordingly, an FIR was registered against 25 persons for their alleged involvement with Bishalgarh police station.

However, the 12 convicted persons had filed a petition challenging the verdict of lower court. And on the other, Mati Lal Saha, brother of deceased MLA had also submitted a separate petition urging the High Court to review the acquittal of five accused persons.

All convicted are belonging to front line leader of CPI(M) party in Bishalgarh and one of them Chinmoy Ghosh was a senior manager of UCO Bank and another Sajal Kumar Sarkar was a school teacher were found directly involved in the crime.

“We have been waiting for the day. But grateful to the then Chief Justice of Tripura Deepak Gupta who is now in Supreme Court for whom today we get justice. For past 33 years we tried at our best level to panelize the criminals. The process of justice could not move, as left front government has been in power for past 23 years,” said Matilal Saha.

Matilal recalled, the then young Congress MLA Parimal Saha, elected from Charilam constituency in 1983, had been brutally hacked to death in Office Tilla area of Bishalgarh block around 1045 hrs by CPI (M) cadres when he had been heading by a jeep for the block office to contest the election to Block Development Committee (BDC).

Saha’s jeep was blocked on the way by a truck carrying the killers and a series of bombs brought the jeep to a halt. Parimal was waylaid while fleeing back home and was brutally hacked to death along with his cousin Jiten Saha who was trying to save the MLA.

The case had dragged on for 32 years without proper trial and even a judicial inquiry commission formed by erstwhile chief minister Nripen Chakraborty had also come to naught. Finally Justice Gupta during his tenure in the high court had come to know of the pending case and ordered immediate trial last year.

All 12 convicted have been under court custody after they surrendered during trial in September 2015. Initially, 25 persons had been charge-sheeted but seven of them were died while one identified as Mafiz Mia, a driver, absconded for many years. However, CPI(M) block has been arguing that Congress MLA Parimal Saha, Youth Congress president of Bishalgarh, had been suspected to be the mastermind behind the murder of CPI (M) MLA Gautam Dutta on September 18 1980 night, had been a hounded man ever since and forced to leave Tripura for a long time.

Two successive inquiries conducted by police and CID however had failed to nab anyone for the murder of Gautam Dutta and final report had been filed. (UNI)