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Verdict on scribe’s murder reserved

Guwahati, May 16: Gauhati High Court today reserved its judgment on a petition seeking to reopen the case of journalist Parag Kumar Das’s murder.

Pallab Das, Parag’s brother, had moved the high court after the court of the district and sessions judge, Kamrup (metro), acquitted Mridul Phukan — the prime accused in the murder case — in July 2009.

The court acquitted Phukan after the CBI failed to provide credible evidence to prove his involvement in the crime. Das, who was a senior journalist and former executive of an Assamese newspaper, was gunned down in broad daylight on May 17, 1996, while returning home after picking up his son from school.Pallab Das today said the court of Justice Amitava Roy had reserved the judgment after hearing the petition (386/2009). “Hearing of the petition (was) completed today and the court reserved its judgment. We had prayed for reopening the case and re-investigating it to find those behind the gruesome murder,” he said.

Mridul Phukan, a Sulfa leader, is the lone surviving accused in the case. The CBI had filed the chargesheet in 2000, accusing four, including Phukan, of the murder. The trial began in 2004.

Das’s family had appealed to the high court to reopen the case as the court of the sessions judge had mentioned in its judgment that the CBI failed to provide credible information to prove Phukan’s involvement.