3 Army officers, 4 JCOs court martialled after 24 years, in 1994 Dangari encounter case of Assam.
A summary general court martial (SGCM) at Laipuli Army camp under the second Mountain Division in Dibrugarh district on Saturday pronounced life imprisonment to three officers and four JCOs, in 1994 Dangari encounter case in which five leaders of All Assam Students Union ( AASU ) were killed by Army in Assam.
The Army officers who have been found guilty are identified as Maj General A K Lal, Col Thomas Methew, Col R S Sibiren, Capt Dilip Singh, Capt Jagdeo Singh, Naik Albindar Singh, Naik Shivendar Singh.
“The seven men have been dismissed from services and have been sentenced to life imprisonment. For 24 years I have never once lost faith in Indian democracy, Indian judiciary system and the Indian Army.
The Army court’s judgement has come after the then AASU vice-president Jagadish Bhuyan fought for justice single handed in Gauhati High Court that first led to a CBI probe ordered by the court.
The central investigating agencies charge-sheeted the seven Army men based on which the Supreme Court ordered the court martial. The court martial had begun on July 16 and concluded on July 27.
The Army has given exemplary punishment to its own officers and men on finding them guilty and this has amplified the glory of the Army and increased people’s trust on the Army.”
In this infamous case, which came to be known as Dangari Army encounter, that took place on night of February 23, five AASU leaders Prabin Sonowal, Pradip Dutta, Debajit Biswas, Akhil Sonowal and Bhaben Moran were brutally killed. As per the media report the Army in its initial report had mentioned them to have been killed in an encounter at Namsai in Arunachal Pradesh at a mobile check post. But, the CBI report then says that five bodies were found at Dibru Saikhowa reserve forest in Assam’s Tinsukia district.