In a significant development, the Gauhati High Court has granted bail to Indra Mohan Borah, one of the accused in the 2019 Guwahati grenade blast case in Assam. The accused was booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The decision to grant bail was made by a bench comprising Justices Michael Zothankhuma and Malastri Nandi.
Bail Granted Based on Lack of Evidence
The bench, in its ruling, stated that the evidence presented against Indra Mohan Borah did not establish his involvement in the Guwahati grenade blast case. Despite acknowledging the possibility of the accused being a member of a banned organization, the court emphasized that the evidence failed to connect him to the specific incident.
“In the present case, assuming that the appellant is a member of the terrorist organization, the appellant can be convicted for being a member of a terrorist organization. However, keeping in view the facts of this case, the further requirement of the respondents would be to show that he was involved in the blasting of the grenade along with the (A-1) Pappu Koch,” noted the Gauhati High Court. The court explicitly mentioned its reluctance to rely on Section 161 statements made by witnesses linking the accused to the crime.
Background of the Guwahati Grenade Blast Case
The incident in question occurred on May 15, 2019, when a grenade exploded near the Guwahati Central Shopping Mall, resulting in injuries to at least 12 people. The blast led to investigations implicating Pappu Koch, a member of the banned militant outfit ULFA-I from Assam.
Indra Mohan Borah was accused of providing logistic support to Pappu Koch. The prosecution alleged that Borah had engaged in communication with Pappu Koch 33 times through his mobile phone leading up to the blast.
Legal Perspective and UAPA
The case took a legal turn as the accused, Borah, secured bail from the Gauhati High Court. The judges underscored the necessity for substantial evidence to establish Borah’s direct involvement in the grenade blast, differentiating membership in a terrorist organization from active participation in a specific act of terrorism.