Former minister acquitted on murder charges

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Gangtok, Feb 29 (UNI) Former minister Thukchuk Lachungpa was acquitted by a lower court today in a murder case.

Lachungpa had been accused of murdering a person at his private picnic spot, Reykhola, 12 kms away from Gangtok on May 14, 2000. He was arrested by Sikkim police and had spent six months in Rongey jail the same year. He is presently on bail given by Supreme Court since November 2000.

While acquitting Lachungpa, District and Sessions (East and North) Judge S W Lepcha said the prosecution had failed to prove the charges.

A former forest minister (1984-89), Lachungpa is presently the Chief Convener of Sikkim Himali Rajya Parishad, the major opposition political party in the state.

'' My innocence has been vindicated,'' Lachungpa said.

UNI BG KK RL RN1748

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