Bodo Terrorism: Justice inching towards little Afroza

We knocked the doors of the Gauhati High Court in 2014, seeking justice for little Afroza. We have come closer to our goal.

On 25 August 2012, during the period of violence unleashed on the Muslim villagers in Kokrajhar and Chirang district of Assam, 6 Muslim villagers traveling from Amguri to Bijni in Chirang district were waylaid and brutally massacred by Bodo miscreants in Chaudhurypara village. Bodies of 5 of them were recovered but that of the 6th, Noor Jamal Mandal or Rajpara was never found.

When case was handed over to CBI, it did arrest 3 main accused and filed a chargesheet against them. In a supplementary chargesheet, they have indicted 5 more who are absconding. CBI had recovered from the accused Noor Jamal Mandals' mobile handset and sim card.

But what is heart-wrenching is that Noor Jamal Mandal's wife had expired much earlier and his death/disappearance left his two little daughters orphaned. They now live with their impoverished grandparents.

As Noor Jamal Mandal's body could not be recovered, his little daughters remained deprived of the compensation of Rs. 8 lakh given by the government to the next of kin.

There had been many 'protests' and several 'press conferences' by people who were concerned for their plight. But no one deemed it fit to seek judicial remedy.

I had first met the little girls in the Amguri relief camp in 2012 and even though lost contact briefly, tracked them down to their present residence in January 2014.

A little more than 2 years after the massacre, Unified People's Movement, finally enabled Noor Jamal Mandal's mother (the little girls' grandmother) to file a Writ Petition in Gauhati High Court.

On 18 September 2014, the Honourable Gauhati High Court in the Writ Petition (Civil) 4777/2014, issued notices to the CBI to clarify whether Noor Jamal Mandal was dead or alive and to the Government of Assam as to why shouldn't the compensation be paid to the little girls?

More than 6 months after the notice was issued, CBI has finally filed their detailed affidavit before the Honourable Court on 30 March 2015. Below is the most relevant paragraph from the Affidavit filed by CBI :

"There is evidence to show that the 6th missing victim Noor Jamal Mandal had proceeded to Bijni town via Chaudhurypara village in his own Tata Mobile Vehicle with evidence also suggests that his last location was close to the place of occurrence on that fateful day & subsequently, his mobile phone set was used by one of the accused persons as per Call Data Records of the accused persons/IMEI. CDR of missing victim which goes to further suggest that Noor Jamal Mandal had also been killed in the incident."

It is my firm belief that the Honourable Court will soon pass the necessary order and direct the Government to pay the two little girls the compensation they deserve.

I am grateful to several of my friends here who pitched in and extended their unwavering support to enable these little girls to seek justice.

Photo: Noor Jamal Mandal’s daughters, little Majoni and Afroza,  Photo: Smita Dutta

Nilim Dutta, Chairman, Unified Peoples Movement; Director, Strategic Research & Analysis Organisation. Lives in Guwahati, Assam, and blogs at chanakyasneeti.wordpress.com; Follow him at : https://twitter.com/NilimDutta