In a major blow to the security forces’ fight against insurgency in Meghalaya, the Supreme Court has ordered immediate release of GNLA Chairman Champion Sangma, who has been languishing in the Shillong Prison for nearly six years.
A bench of Justice AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan set aside the order passed by Additional Judicial Magistrate allowing an application made by the prosecution against the release of Sangma. The bench noted that the application for the rejection of Sangma’s bail application was defective as Sangma has never filed any bail application.
Champion Sangma, a former Meghalaya cop was arrested from Mymensingh of Bangladesh on July 2012. A number of criminal cases has been registered against Champion Sangma and in most cases, the militant leader was either acquitted or discharged.
Meanwhile, in some of the cases that are still pending, the GNLA Chairman had been granted bail except in Case GR No. 72/2011 in which charge-sheet was filed. However, the Apex Court through its order made it clear that the State shall not preclude from taking any appropriate legal step steps against Sangma, which are permissible in law.
This comes barely a month after GNLA Commander-in-Chief, Sohan D Shira was gunned down by Meghalaya Police’s SF-10 Commandos in an encounter at Achakpek near Dobu in East Garo Hills district.