Tezpur: A local court Tuesday released on bail
ULFA political advisor and senior leader Bhimakanta Buragohain
who served seven years in Tezpur jail.
Additional Judge Sonitpur district and sessions court
Hemadevi Phukan Bhuyan set Buragohain, popularly known as
`Mama`, free on the submission of surety of Rs 25,000, each
for two bail petitions moved by his nephews Anup Phukan and
Kula Mohan Barua.
The septuagenarian was apprehended by the Royal
Bhutanese Army during operations against North East militants
and was handed over to the Indian security forces on December
15, 2003. He was arrested under Unlawful Arms Act and remanded
in judicial custody since December 2003.
He was shifted from Tezpur jail to Gauhati Central Jail
early this year following the arrest in Bangladesh of several
ULFA leaders, including its chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa to
allow the top leadership to meet and discuss modalities for
the talks process.
Buragohain, who remained underground for 20 years in the
ULFA camps in the jungles in Bhutan was granted bail on
October 8 by Sonitpur District and Sessions Court judge Dinesh
Chandra Choudhary but could not be released due to a strike by
judicial employees and Durga Puja vacation.
He was produced before the court again on October 12 but
could not be released as his bail surety and documents could
not be furnished by his nephews.
He was sent back to the Gauhati Central Jail from where
he was brought to the Sonitpur district and sessions court
ULFA vice-chairman Pradip Gogoi, `central publicity
secretary` Mithinga Daimary and `cultural secretary` Pranati
Deka were released in the same manner with the government not
opposing their bail to facilitate the process of peace talks.
Before being whisked away from the court, Buragohain said
the progress of the peace process and its modalities will
depend on ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa.
"The peace talks will take place by and by," he said.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has said the peace talks are
likely to begin in December