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  1. #1

    Angry Indian man imprisoned for 50 years without trial

    A villager in India's north-eastern state of Assam has been released from prison after spending more than half a century behind bars without a trial.

    Seventy-seven year old Machang Lalung was arrested in 1951 from his native village of Silsang, 64km (40 miles) from the state's main city of Guwahati.

    Police said that Mr Lalung, who is from the Lalung tribe, was booked for "causing grievous hurt".

    The offence normally results in 10 years imprisonment.


    But police said there were no evidence to support the allegation, so within a year of his arrest, he was transferred to a psychiatric institution.

    "It seems the police just forgot about him thereafter," says Assamese human rights activist Sanjay Borbora.

    In 1967, the authorities at the institution certified Mr Lalung as "fully fit" and said that they intended to release him.

    But instead of being freed, police transferred him to another jail.

    "Even at this point, the police did not send him to court to face trial, they just kept him in prison," Mr Borbora said.

    Strangely, even his relatives and family members forgot about Machang Lalung.

    Last year, local human rights activists brought Machang's case to the attention of the National Human Rights Commission, which took up the case immediately and sought his release.

    He was finally freed last week after paying a token personal bond of one rupee (two cents).

    Magistrate HK Sarma, who released Mr Lalung, lashed out at the Assamese and Indian "snail-paced and inefficient" legal system.

    "Neither the executive nor the judiciary avoid responsibility for Machang Lalung's detention for so long on the grounds of mere procedure or technicalities," Mr Sarma said.

    "At stake is the question of life and liberty of a person in judicial custody for 54 years, who was not brought to trial even long after his recovery from mental illness," he said.

    Mr Borbora says Machang should now sue the police - but said that after so long he is perhaps not interested.

    "He is a simple villager and his life has been destroyed by a cruel system . He should sue the authorities for millions of rupees but I don't think he is even aware he could it," said Mr Borbora.

    After Mr Lalung's release, he was escorted back to his village, where only one villager, Benu Lalung, recognised him.

    "We handed him over to the village headman but could not find his family or relatives," said B Das, a police official.

    He said that Mr Lalung had almost forgotten about his past and does not remember anything about his village now.

    "He just did not react at all when he arrived at Silsang," Mr Das said.

  2. #2
    That is a real horror story

    But - Ironcally,

    since that story was released by the BBC - maybe they could investigate what is happening right in their own country

  3. #3
    Strangely, even his relatives and family members forgot about Machang Lalung.
    Now thats crazy. Poor guy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Dont you think you would mail, or talk to someone within that time period? Mail your family?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    It does not sound like the government to me...

    its the people....

    if my cousin's cousin's cousin goes to jail for no apparent reason.... I ought to pay him a visit at least ask about him...

    Now his family forgot about him...

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    chennai , tamil nadu , IN

    Strangely, even his relatives and family members forgot about Machang Lalung.
    For me , that is the strangest part indeed !
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Manchester, UK
    That's terrible. How can a human being simply be 'forgot' about??

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Strangely, even his relatives and family members forgot about Machang Lalung.
    Why I laughed at that....I don't know.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    World Wide Web
    Police forgetting the man is not that shocking but certainly violated the ol man's fundamental rights.. man!! imagine being in prison for 50 years.. thanks to the HR activists he's finally out.

    but relatives forgetting the ol man is strange.. I doubt that is real news..
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Wow, thats insane. I would be rather mad.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    When did YOU last visit your aunt or granny in the OAP home?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    United States of America
    that sounds pretty sad
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Originally posted by probonic
    That's terrible. How can a human being simply be 'forgot' about??
    It's sad, but it can happen. Aussie Bob, host since 2001
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    The authorities concerned should at least give him enough compensation to live out the rest of his life without any worries or wants. Poor chap!

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