| Padmeswar Borgohain and Domboru Gogoi in Dhemaji. Telegraph picture |
Guwahati, April 20: It has taken over six years to get the accused in the Dhemaji blast case chargesheeted but the families of the victims have now decided to join hands to seek “justice and closure” at the earliest.
The “inordinate” delay in the filing of the chargesheet against the 15 accused has prompted the families of the victims to move court and the state government with a plea to ensure that the trial does not drag on “endlessly” making the eventual outcome “meaningless” for them.
The police filed the chargesheet in the court of the judicial magistrate, Dhemaji, on February 28.
Domboru Gogoi, who had lost his son Monjit in the August 15 blast in 2004, told The Telegraph that the families have already applied for a copy of the chargesheet and that they would be meeting this Sunday to formulate a plan of action to achieve their objectives.
Like Gogoi, Padmeswar Borgohain, a 56-year-old railway employee who lost his 14-year-old daughter Manashree in the blast, and Nityanand Saikia, a law student who lost two of his sisters, Rupa and Aruna, want a speedy trial and justice.
The families fear that if the trial drags on endlessly, the interest in the case will wane, affecting the eventual outcome. They pointed to the long period of silence from the public after the initial support extended to the families after the blast.
The explosion had been planned by Ulfa to target VIPs during the August 15 parade at Dhemaji College Ground. It left 10 school students and three women, including a schoolteacher, dead, while scarring their families for life.
The families did not how to go about seeking justice except for pouring their hearts out to mediapersons as and when they came visiting.
Had it not been for the Terrorist Victims Family Forum, Assam, which moved Gauhati High Court last year seeking speedy trial, the chargesheet, too, would not have materialised, family members said.
Despair has now been replaced with hope for justice following the filing of the chargesheet.
“It is for the court to decide the quantum of penalty against those found guilty. All we want is a speedy trial, punishment meted out to the guilty. We have heard that few of the chargesheeted may use their political influence to delay the trial. Therefore, we will request the court and whosoever forms the next government at Dispur to ensure that the process does not drag on endlessly, for justice delayed is justice denied. We want justice and closure at the earliest. It is our only request,” Gogoi said.
They indicated that they would move higher courts if there was undue delay.
“We feel the chargesheet materialised only after the high court was moved. We will approach it once again if we feel there is delay,” Saikia said.
Borgohain said they would first knock on the high court’s door and, if required, the Supreme Court.
Senior Gauhati High Court lawyer Nekibur Zaman said he saw no reason for delay if the government machinery extended complete support to the judiciary.
“For a speedy trial, summons have to executed by the police on time, witnesses and exhibits have to be produced on time,” he explained.
Former police chief Harekrishna Deka was among those who sought a speedy trial.
“Dhemaji blast was a heinous crime. Prima facie evidence has been found against those chargesheeted, who have now to stand trial. Those found guilty have to be punished. Nothing less, nothing more,” he said.