Mizoram Illegal Blast Fishing Case : Accused MLA and 8 Others Acquitted, 4 Convicted

Mamit District Court made a verdict on  H. Lalzirliana, Mamit MLA and 11 of his associates for alleged unauthorized fishing in Saitlan li/Ngawi dawh li. Four of them were convicted on 20.5.2022 while eight others, including Mamit MLA H.lalzirliana, were unindicted. The convicts' sentences will be heard on 3.6.2022

Hreuthangpuia, Chuauthantluanga, Lalrikhuma, and Lalchawimawia were convicted, according to the court settlement by Laldinpuia Tlau, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mamit District Court.  

According to the Court Settlement, on November 29, 2020, Phaizau VC and NGOs issued a joint statement on social media in which H. Lalzirliana MLA and 11 of his colleagues were accused of illegally blast fishing on Saitlan li/Ngawi dawh li, and a Rs. 10,000 fine was demanded in retaliation. The issue was also covered by the media, with environmental organisations ASEP and BICONE issuing statements of condemnation.

The Mizoram Forest Department conducted an immediate investigation and indicated that the area was a reserved forest, the MLA and his associates had violated sections 23 (1) and 24 (6) of the Mizoram (forest) Act, 1955. DFO Mamit filed a complaint, which was received by the court on December 14, 2020.

According to a report by Zalen News during the trial, four prosecution witnesses were questioned, while the accused had no witnesses. The accused were charged under Section 313 of the Criminal Code. They were given the chance to explain themselves through the PC, and while they all denied all of the charges, they provided no explanation or proof of their wrongdoing.

After hearing and examining the evidence, the court concluded that H. Lalzirliana MLA and 11 of his colleagues did travel to Tut River on November 21, 2020. Some of them travelled to Saitlan li/Ngawi dawh li and fished with gelatine, also confirming that the fish bombing site was located within a reserved forest.

Some of the accused paid a Rs.10000 fine, as requested by the VC and All NGOs. Accused Nos. 1-4, all Mamit residents, claimed they were unaware of the community fine. On the other hand, accused numbers 5-12, all Phaizau residents, agreed to pay the fine imposed by the community. The report stated. 

Mizoram Blast Fishing MLA Case
Mizoram MLA and his associates were accused of illegally fishing in a protected area 
Pic: Save Mizoram 
The court accepted as evidence the payment of fines by convicts as demanded by VC and NGOs and convicted the accused. According to the court, the fine was paid to demonstrate that they accepted the charge of illegal blast fishing. However, one of the accused, Chanchinmawia, who also paid the fine, was not convicted because his statement before DFO, Mamit Forest Division and statements from other accused do not indicate his presence at the scene of the bombing or participation in the activity.

The court ruled that newspaper articles, press releases from certain organisations, and social media posts alone were insufficient evidence to convict the accused and granted the accused the benefit of the doubt. The court convicted four of the twelve accused, while eight were found not guilty.

Reference : Court in sangha bomb tu MLA thuihhruai zinga mi 4 thiam loh chan tir, MLA in thiam chang

The Mizos

The Mizos is a one-man team news blog, that brings you news and stories from Mizoram, Northeast India and the rest of the World.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post