33 former Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) militants acquitted
33 former Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) militants were acquitted by a Jalpaiguri Court in connection with an armed attack on the CPIM Zonal party office in Dhupguri, Jalpaiguri District, West Bengal, 15 years ago. The CPIM has decided to approach a higher court against this judgment.
On August 17, 2002, evening an armed attack had been carried out on the Dhupguri CPIM Zonal Office. 5 front CPIM leaders had died on the spot while 11 others were grievously injured in the automatic gun fire.
Police had initiated a criminal case against 39 KLO militants namely Tom Adhikari, Milton Das, Nityananda Das, Harshavardhan Das and others.
A battery of lawyers represented the accused. "After 15 long years, the former KLO militants have been acquitted owing to lack of evidence and witnesses failing to identify them" stated Avijit Sarkar, defence lawyer.
The acquitted claimed that during Left rule they were implicated in numerous false cases. "We were implicated in many such false cases. However, as they couldn't prove anything we were acquitted" stated Tom Adhikari.
Somnath Pal, Public Prosecutor, Jalpaiguri stated that out of 59 witnesses only 14 turned up in court. "Many of the witnesses had failed to identify the accused in court" stated Pal.
Salil Acharya CPIM leader stated "We are discussing the matter with the State leaders. We will approach a higher court against the order."
The Kamtapur Liberation Organization (KLO) was formed on December 28, 1995, by students from the indigenous Rajbongshi community.
They launched an armed struggle to form a Kamtapur State comprising of districts of North Bengal and Assam. The outfit was banned by the Indian Government in 1997.