Narinjara News

India Supreme Court notice to CBI on Burmese detainees of Operation Leech


Dhaka, November 17: The Supreme Court of India on Tuesday issued notices to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and authorities in Andaman and Nicobar Islands on a petition seeking release of 36 Burmese "freedom fighters" arrested six years ago by the Indian Army during "Operation Leech" according to an India local news agency, Press Trust of India, on 16 November.


A bench comprising Justice N Santosh Hegde and Justice SB Sinha issued notice also to the Chief Secretary of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and asked the respondents to reply within four weeks on the petition filed by social activist Nandita Haksar.


The petition filed through advocate Kamini Jaiswal also annexed a CBI report on the incident raising serious doubts over the veracity of the Army's version of "Operation Leech".


CBI had been entrusted with the investigations into the alleged gun running racket, which the Indian Army claimed to have busted with the arrest of 73 people, of which 46 were released later as they were found to be fishermen.


The report said that the Arakanese nationals from Burma were members of Arakan Army fighting for the liberation of Arakan that lost its sovereignty in 1784 and had allegedly struck a deal with certain army officials for bringing a consignment of arms and ammunition from Thailand- Burma border to Landfall Islands of India.


According to the report, while the Burmese claimed to have been double crossed by the Army, the CBI claimed that its efforts to get details of the operation was stonewalled at every stage.


The petitioner said that due to this non-cooperation between Army and the CBI, the Burmese were facing prolonged litigation without any progress in the trial.


In the operation Leech of India army in 1998, six top leaders of Arakan Army and KNU, including General Khaing Raza and Brigadier general Saw Tun, were reportedly assassinated by India army.#



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