IMPHAL, June 8: In the first ever case taken up by the National Investigation Agency, a special trial court has today sentenced UNLF chief RK Meghen to 10 years rigorous imprisonment, despite NIA’s plea for a lifetime sentence. 17 others have been awarded imprisonment ranging from 7 to 10 years.
During the sentence hearing today, RK Meghen did not seek leniency.
Instead he said, ‘Today, I remember the remark of President Fidel Castro of Cuba when tried for rebellion who said history shall absolve him. Castro was fighting against the repressive regime of a dictator. I leave the matter of my sentence to the judicial wisdom of this court.’
However, his counsel Gunadhor Singh appealed to the court, when the NIA lawyers pleaded for life imprisonment.
NIA Special Judge MK Bhattacharjee today read out the judgement in open court after hearing of both counsel.
NIA filed the case in 2010 against the accused persons including RK Meghen under sections 120 B, 121, 121 (A) and 122 of IPC.
The members of the proscribed United National Liberation Front (UNLF) who were sentenced to 10 years and a fine of Rs 10,000 are O Samarjit alias Naresh alias Kadeng, W Noren Singh alias Thoiba, K Jiten alias Khomba alias Dine, S Kune Singh alias Boy alias Wanglen alias Little Boy, M Ibohal Singh alias Ngamba alias Sanjay, N Dilip Singh alias Ibochou alias Mani, L Jatishwar Singh alias Tilemba, M Joy Singh alias Joyjao alias Nongyai alias Nilachandra besides Rajkumar Meghen alias Sanayaima under section 121 A of IPC.
They were also sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of 8 years and a fine of 10,000 under section 18 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
RK Meghen alias Sanayaima was also sentenced to 7 years and a fine of Rs 20,000 under section 18 B and for 10 years under section 122 of IPC.
Meanwhile M Sarat Singh alias Nabakumar alias Chaoren alias Suresh, T Herojit alias Prem alias Mangal, Ch Bembem Chanu alias Shakhenbi alias Henbi alias Pempem, O Maniton Singha and Landhoni Devi has been sentenced to 7 years rigorous imprisonment.
The special court has further convicted three others N Bomi Singh, Y Brajabidhu and A Ibomcha Singh to 7 years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 20,000 under section 21 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Of the 18 persons convicted under various sections at least 4 of them S Rakesh Singh, Landhoni Devi, Maniton Singha and N Bomi Singh are out on bail. The court has cancelled and jail warrants issued immediately.
The Special Court hearing began today at 11 and continued till 1 pm amidst tight security. Paramilitary forces were deployed outside the court premises and Varun water cannon kept at bay.
No one except for lawyers and relatives of the accused persons were allowed inside the court.
Out of 114 prosecution witnesses produced by NIA, only 84 witnesses were examined by the special court. Around 205 documents were filed and 45 recovered materials/objects were produced by NIA.