National Democratic Front of Bodoland founder Ranjan Daimary and nine others were on Tuesday sentenced to life imprisonment for their role in the 2008 Assam blasts, the Hindustan Times reported. Serial blasts had killed at least 88 people and injured more than 400 in Guwahati, Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon and Barpeta on October 30, 2008.
On Monday, a special Central Bureau of Investigation court had held Daimary and 14 others guilty in the case.
“There were a total of 22 accused, out of which 15 faced trial,” Special Public Prosecutor TD Goswami said. “Seven others remain absconding while two of them are believed to be dead.” The prosecution had sought the death penalty for Daimary.
Daimary told reporters on Monday that he will challenge his conviction in a higher court. The court had acquitted one of the accused, Mridul Goyary.
The National Democratic Front of Bodoland has a ceasefire agreement with the Indian government, and has sought talks. But Ranjan Daimary’s sister Anjali Daimary, who is an animal rights activist, claimed on Monday that her brother’s conviction and the peace process cannot go hand in hand.
The group’s General Secretary B Ohnjalu said in a statement on Tuesday that the organisation will be forced to reconsider the peace process with the Centre, given the conviction of its founder, Northeast Now reported. He said he hoped the judgement will not derail the peace process, and said Daimary should be released on bail as soon as possible.