Ulfa man in cop custody - Sanjoy Ghose murder accused produced in court

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 27.11.11
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Jorhat, Nov. 26: Phatik Hatimota, the Ulfa militant arrested yesterday from Majuli, was remanded in four days’ police custody today. He was produced in the court of the chief judicial magistrate here amid tight security and subsequently taken back to the island.

Hatimota is among 11 Ulfa militants, including the outfit’s commander-in-chief Paresh Barua, who were convicted in the Sanjoy Ghose abduction and killing case. The CBI, which probed the killing of the social worker in 1997, had filed chargesheets against 11 cadres of the outfit.

While Moni Neog and Kania Hazarika are serving life terms, five cadres had died in encounters with security forces over the years and three — Paresh Barua, Pradip Baruah and Anjan Borthakur — are still absconding.

A police officer at Majuli said that Hatimota had been arrested in connection with the murder of a Congress leader of the island, Budheswar Bez, in 2006. He will be handed over to the CBI since he is wanted by the central investigation agency in connection with the Sanjoy Ghose murder case.

Sources in Majuli, however, said that Hatimota had come overground a few months ago and had been moving freely on the island. He, along with a few of his associates have been working on a farm in the Salmora area where they have taken to vegetable cultivation.

“He took an active role in arranging the function when Ulfa chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa had come to Majuli a few months back,” a villager in Majuli said.

For the police, however, Hatimota has been absconding.

“He is the most wanted Ulfa militant on the island. We had no news about him till yesterday,” a police officer at Jengraimukh police station said.

Sources said Hatimota, who hails from Majuli, was the mastermind behind the abduction and killing of Sanjoy Ghose. He abducted Ghose from the Bongaon area of the island on July 7, 1997. Since then Ghose went missing, though a few Ulfa cadres arrested in this connection had revealed that Ghose was taken on a boat, killed the very day he was kidnapped and his body dumped in the Brahmaptura. Ghose’s body was never recovered.