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Reverse bail order plea rejected

Calcutta, Nov. 3: The high court today rejected a government petition seeking cancellation of the bail of Subal Bagchi, the CPM leader from Nadia arrested in connection with the bus loot and rape in Dhantola in February.

Bagchi was released from jail after a Nadia court granted him bail. Slogan-shouting supporters had greeted him when he walked out. The government had sought to put him behind bars again and moved the high court.

It was alleged that the looting of two buses packed with people returning from wedding receptions and the rape of some of the passengers were the result of rivalry between CPM factions. Bagchi, a zonal member of the party and a former panchayat chief, was expelled from the CPM after being arrested.

The public prosecutor told the court that trial would be hampered if Bagchi was allowed to move freely. “He has clout in the area and may influence witnesses,” he said. Bagchi’s lawyer said the trial court was convinced that he deserved the bail and pleaded with the high court not to reverse the decision.

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