TODAY -

Jailed for 13 years, Burmese rebels finally freed
Source: The Sangai Express / Ninglun Hanghal

New Delhi, June 10 2011: Arrested in Port Blair by Indian Authorities on February 11, 1998, thirty one members of the Karen National Union (KNU) and the National Unity Party of Arakan (NUPA), were released from Alipur's Presidency Correctional Home, Kolkata on May 19, 2011 after spending more than 13 years in detention in India.

Remaining three is still yet to get their freedom.

Back in February 1998, Col.Biswajit Singh Grewal a military intelligence officer, offered 42 Myanmarese rebels a safe haven in the Landford island.

Reportedly on arrival, six of their leaders were shot dead by the Indian Army.

Two of them later mysteriously disappeared.

Col Grewal , who left immediately for Myanmar after the incident was suspected by the CBI to have been a double agent for the Myanmarese intelligence.

Remaining thirty four rebels according to the FIR No 50/98, filed by R S Dhankar, Lt Commander and Deputy Naval Provost Marshal for Fortress Andaman and Nicobar Islands were accused for " bringing arms etc for terrorist militant outfits in north eastern states of India via Cox bazaar and Bangladesh to wage war and or, attempting to wage war and or aiding and abetting to wage war against the government of India and conspiring illegally to wage war against the lawfully established government of India and or abetting terrorism to destabilise the lawfully established government in the country" .

The Charge sheet was filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation after more than six years and dropped the charge of waging war.

The trial started in January 2007 and ended in July 2010 .

The released rebels also called "freedom fighters" by the Burmese communities were granted refugee status in March 2011 by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and are presently taking shelter in Delhi.


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