Court notice on detained Meghalaya rebel’s plea

Shillong, April 2 (IANS) The Meghalaya High Court Tuesday issued notice to the central and state governments on Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) chief Champion R. Sangma’s plea challenging his detention, a lawyer said.

Chief Justice Chief Justice T. Meena Kumari gave four weeks’ time to the state government to file a response on Sangma’s plea against his detention under the Meghalaya Preventive Detention Act (MPDA), the rebel’s counsel, Sujit Dey, told IANS.

“The court directed the Meghalaya government to file an affidavit on the petition filed by Sangma for booking him under the MPDA,” Dey said.

Sangma, a rogue police officer now lodged in Shillong jail, was booked under the act for waging war against the government after his arrest July 30, 2012 near the India-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya.

An accused can be detained for a maximum of three years under the state law and bail is granted only after an advisory board chaired by a retired judge gives a decision.

Dey termed the detention of the outlawed rebel as a “violation the his rights under Article 22(5) of the Indian constitution”.

Sangma’s outfit is fighting for a separate ‘Garoland’ and he is allegedly involved in masterminding several killings and extortions in Garo Hills in western Meghalaya.

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