After nearly a decade, ULFA leader and hardcore guerilla Amar Singh alias Arup Konwar(Tutu) has been acquitted by the Gauhati court on Friday, May 17, in the case of killing of then Minister Nagen Neog and eight others in 1996 near Golaghat. Late Nagen Neog was the husband of PWD minister Ajanta Neog.
The Gauhati High Court on Friday acquitted ULFA leader Amar Singh alias Arup Konwar in the former Congress minister Nagen Neog killing case. The High Court had set aside the lower court’s verdict sending Konwar to life imprisonment. The other two accused in the case, Pranjal Saikia and Ananta Saikia were killed in encounter during trial of the case. On the other hand, Amar Singh was convicted by the session court in 2007, based on a statement which can be termed as a mere coincidence.
ULFA had on May 6, 1996, ambushed the then Congress minister Nagen Neog at Singijan Bridge under Golaghat police station. The incident occurred just two days after the 1996 Assembly elections. Neog contested the Golaghat seat as a Congress candidate. Apart from Neog, his driver and police escorts died in the ambush. Statements of 14 people were recorded after the CBI submitted chargesheets against the accused on October 24, 2002. It needs to be mentioned that the lower court convicted Amar Singh alias Arup Konwar with life term imprisonment though there was lack of evidence against him. Amar Singh was the then Commander of Golaghat district at the time of the ambush. His conviction was only on a statement based on coincident that Amar Singh alias Arup Konwar was convicted by the session court. Arup Konwar, who was arrested in 2004 for his involvement in another case, is currently lodged in Golaghat Jail. Advocate Bijon Mahajan, Pranab Das and Arshad Choudhury represented Arup Konwar’s case in the Gauhati High Court.
Mentionable that Arup Konwar’s lone brother Keshab Konwar was killed by government sponsored secret killers in 1999.
Moreover, the CBI in its reply to the High Court judgment, prayed for one month’s time to move the Supreme Court in the case. The High Court accepted the investigating agency’s plea and held Arup Konwar’s release order for one more month.