Shillong: A court in West Jaintia Hills district passed a judgement against a senior leader of the ruling National People's Party (NPP) in Meghalaya where it sentenced him to life imprisonment for murdering a 25-year-old man during a drunken brawl.
Nidamon Chillet, the NPP working president of Jaintia Hills region got convicted by District Session Judge B Khriam under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on 19 January.
A fine of Rs 50,000 was imposed on him by the court.
On the other hand, Chullet's aide Koming Rabon was convicted under IPC section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) for disposing off the body.
The court has sentenced him to seven years in prison and a fine of Rs. 10,000 was also imposed on him.
According to reports, Chullet is believed to a close associate of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and is known to share close ties with the CM.
The incident, which occured on February 2008, unraveled when Ewanmidoo Lhuid, along with the convicted, were playing cards at a shop in Jowai under the influence of alcohol. A brawl subsequently followed and Chullet and the other accused attacked Ewanmidoo Lhuid with a dao (traditional sword).
It is to be noted that the other accused person died during the course of the trial in 2019.
The prosecution concluded that the victim's body was later disposed by Rabon.
The prosecution was lauded by Judge Khriam for proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt, while noting the "shoddy" investigation carried out by the police.
Chullet, who also happens to be the president of transporters' body in eastern Meghalaya, is also accused in the assault of activists Agnes Kharshiing and Amita Sangma back in November 2018, just months after NPP came to power in Meghalaya.
The activists were reportedly attempting to expose the illegal coal mining and transportation in the Jaintia Hills region.
Chullet's party had earlier come to his defense, citing that no action can be taken against him until he is proven guilty.
However, the NPP has not delivered any official statement following the verdict.