The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Unfair trial slur by convicts’ wives

Kharagpur, Sept. 18: The wives of the four brothers sentenced to life imprisonment in the Gautam Chowbey murder case along with notorious don, Rambabu, blamed an unfair trial for their husbands’ conviction.

Devi, Anjali, Sasi and Baby, the wives of Pappu Singh, Bikram, Rajendra and Vijay, invited reporters to the Ram Mandir at Golebazar here and narrated how their entire family had been “finished” after all the men had been put behind bars.

“Gautam Chowbey used to collect money from our husbands, who are railway contractors, so that they could operate in the area,” the wives alleged. They said Chowbey, son of a former MP, turned against them when their husbands refused to pay Rs 50,000.

The four women contended that their husbands were sentenced without a trial, a point they had repeatedly tried to make in court. West Midnapore police superintendent K.C. Meena refused to comment on this development, stating that the judicial magistrate had passed the judgment.

“If they (the women) have a complaint, they should approach a higher court,” Meena said.

The names of the four brothers did not figure in the first FIR filed after Chowbey was murdered on September 19 last year. The four women blamed Debashis Chowdhury, a close friend of Chowbey and prime witness in the murder case, for falsely implicating the brothers.

They alleged that Chowdhury had demanded Rs 20 lakh from their husbands in return for not implicating them. When the Singh brothers refused to pay, their names were included in an FIR filed subsequently.

“Our husbands were also arrested without warrants,” the wives pointed out.

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