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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Judge fails to break fast

Siliguri, Sept. 14: The 19 inmates of Jalpaiguri Central Jail, who are on hunger strike since September 5, refused to call off their agitation unless they have it writing that their trials would be expedited.

Acting on instructions received last night from the Supreme Court and Calcutta High Court, Jalpaiguri district judge Baidyanath Bhaduri and chief judicial magistrate Shampa Dutta visited the hospital this afternoon and persuaded the undertrials to give up their fast.

“We assured the inmates that the judiciary would take initiatives to accelerate the trial process. We also asked them to file fresh bail applications,” Bhaduri told reporters after coming out of the medical ward. The judges were accompanied by the deputy inspector general of prisons, Panchanan Biswas. He refused to comment on the issue.

Sudhangshu Sarkar, the Jalpaiguri-based lawyer representing the arrested KLO members, said: “The inmates held a meeting after the judges left. They will not withdraw their strike unless they get the assurances in writing,” Sarkar said.

The undertrials, who belong to various extremist outfits, are in jail custody for as long as three years. Their agitation completed 10 days today and doctors at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, where they are lodged, have already recommended that they be shifted to Calcutta.for better treatment.

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