News & Information From Northeast India

2008 Assam blasts victim families welcome court decision, call for exemplary punishment

Family members of the victims of the 2008 serial blasts in Assam had a sigh of relief when a special CBI court convicted NDFB chief Ranjan Daimary and 13 others for their involvement.

For the family members, justice came late as they waited for more than a decade after their closed ones lost their life and many others were severely injured in the afternoon of October 30, 2008 when serial blasts rocked multiple locations in Guwahati along with Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar and Barpeta.

Speaking to The News Mill, the victims demanded that the culprits are served exemplary punishment. “It’s good that finally the culprits are convicted. But we want exemplary punishment so that they realize what we went through over the years. I lost my husband that fateful day. It just changed the course our lives. My son couldn’t finish his studies because of the financial crunch,” Kamala Choudhury, who lost her husband Rajesh Choudhury, told The News Mill on Monday.

The special CBI court will pronounce the quantum of punishment on January 30.

Choudhury, a resident of Purbanchal Nagar in Hengarabari area of Guwahati, however, said that they always felt neglected by the government.

“It’s better late than never. But the way we have been treated over the years is painful. Apart from the one-time financial grant, nothing has been done,” said Choudhury who works at Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) in contractual basis.

“In spite of the repeated requests, and being a blast victim family members, my file was never moved and thus my job was never made permanent,” she added.

Indranil Kalita, a member of Forum for Terrorist Victims’ Family, Assam (FTVFA) said that the other cases should also be treated equally.

“We are seeking for an exemplary punishment for the culprits. Apart from that we would like to appeal to the government to start all the cases which were withdrawn to ease the road for the peace process with the militants especially in the BTAD (Bodoland Territorial Area Districts). We want these cases should be started again so that the victims’ families get justice,” Kalita told The News Mill.

Kalita also said that the government has withdrawn all the similar criminal cases to negotiate the peace talk. “But no one thought about the victims,” Kalita added.

Welcoming the verdict Niru Kalita who lost her husband Pramod Kalita said that one-time financial grant was not enough for the families.

“What will we say now? We have lost our dear ones. We have also been demanding for a government job as compensation. We can’t live our lives with that one-time compensation,” Niru said.

The serial blasts on October 30, 2008 left over 88 dead and more than 500 injured. The blasts had ripped through Guwahati’s Ganeshguri, Panbazar and Kachari areas and also struck Barpeta Road, Kokrajhar and Bongaigaon almost simultaneously.

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