‘ULFA chairman’ Mukul Hazarika freed in terror charge extradition case in UK
LONDON: ‘ULFA chairman’ Mukul Hazarika freed in terror charge extradition case in UK. Indian-origin doctor from Assam has fought his legal battle against being extradited to India on terrorism charges for allegedly being chairman of the United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent).
ULFA (I) won because he was acquitted by a British court on Thursday.
Dr Mukul Hazarika, 75, a British National and General Practitioner (GP) from Cleveland, North England, has been accused by Indian authorities of waging war against the Government of India, or of trying to wage war or inciting war. Tried to sue. And conspiracy to commit a terrorist act under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
In Westminster Magistrates’ Court, District Judge Michael Snow ruled that the accused should be acquitted because the details of the case were not satisfactory.
The judge concluded that there was no admissible evidence to prove that the defendant was Asom, chairman of ULFA (I).
Hazarika was called the self-styled chairman of the banned terrorist organization ULFA in India.
I conclude that there is no admissible evidence to provide the necessary identification that the defendant was the chairman of Alpha (I) or that he spoke at the training camp. I am satisfied that a fact-finding tribunal, which has been properly directed, could not reasonably and properly find out whether the defendant was from Assam or convicted on the basis of evidence. “I acquit the defendant under the s84 (5) 2003 [Extradition] Act,” he said.
It was alleged that Hazarika, also known as Abhijeet Asom, was involved in recruiting new cadres to the ULFA inside and outside India, organizing terrorist camps to launch attacks on Indian security forces. And so the Government of India intended to wage war.
Among other activities, he was accused of recruiting members inside and outside India, organizing terrorist training camps to launch attacks on Indian security forces and civilians, and thus being involved in the Indian government.
Barrister Ben Lloyd of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) appeared for the Indian government during a hearing last month (May).
All the allegations were denied by the medical practitioner, whose barrister, Ben Cooper, insisted in court that the case against him could not be concluded due to lack of solid evidence.
Cooper said he has a long background in human rights advocacy and although trained as a doctor, he is committed to open dialogue to defend the human rights of the people of Assam.
Other areas of focus in the defense case include the forcible transfer of a 75-year-old medically weak GP to the harsh conditions of an Indian prison on human rights grounds, and justice without bail on such terrorism charges.
Many of these foundations were not considered relevant.
I am convinced that ordering his surrender is not oppressive or unfair, “the ruling note on Thursday.
Hazarika, meanwhile, who has been out on bail under the electronic tag curfew since her arrest by British extradition unit personnel in June last year, will be released on those conditions.
The court allowed him to stay at a London address for the duration of the hearing and he will now return to Cleveland, where he is a senior partner at Queen Street practice in Billingham.