| Pradip Gogoi |
Guwahati, Feb. 19: The designated Tada court today granted bail to Ulfa vice-chairman Pradip Gogoi in three cases registered against him.
Designated judge Soneka Bora passed the order granting bail to Gogoi in three cases — Tada sessions case numbers 1/90, 42/01 and 43/01 — against a surety of Rs 1 lakh for each case.
Pradip Gogoi’s counsel Nabasmita Gogoi said the bail was granted on conditions that till the disposal of the cases he would not travel abroad, deposit his passport (if any) in the court and not leave the area under the jurisdiction of the court (which is Assam) without prior permission from the court or the officer-in-charge of the police station of the area where he is a permanent resident.
The court has fixed February 23 as the date for passing the orders on the bail applications of Pradip Gogoi in three other Tada cases registered against him and one Tada case registered against Ulfa central executive member Mithinga Daimary.
If granted bail in these cases, the duo will be released from jail. It is expected to pave way for talks with Ulfa. Other jailed leaders are also likely to be released in a phased manner.
On Tuesday, Dispur had virtually paved the way for the Ulfa duo getting bail by stating in court that it has no objection to their release.
This afternoon, chief minister Tarun Gogoi said Dispur was not objecting to the bail pleas as part of a strategy to get things moving and all efforts were being made to persuade even the elusive Ulfa commander-in-chief, Paresh Barua, to come to the negotiating table.
He, however, said at the same time the government could not wait endlessly for him.
“There are indications but these not concrete. We also know that talks cannot be held in handcuffs and in jail....Our strategy of keeping the talks doors open has paid dividends in the past,” the chief minister said when asked about the future of the peace efforts at a news conference.
The usually unflappable chief minister today lost his cool when repeatedly asked about the controversy surrounding a magazine report that pointed accusing fingers at seven of his ministerial colleagues in connection with a Rs 1,000-crore scam in North Cachar Hills.
He said the report was a “malicious propaganda”.
On a day the AGP stepped up efforts to nail Dispur over the scam by burning Tarun Gogoi’s effigy in all district headquarters, the chief minister asserted that the National Investigation Agency or the Union ministry of home affairs had neither sought permission to probe the ministers nor informed about the embezzlement till date.
He said he would not seek a CBI inquiry unless there was prima facie evidence against the ministers. Charge-sheeted persons would not get party tickets, the chief minister said, adding he would issue a rejoinder to the magazine.
The AGP submitted memoranda to President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to dismiss the Gogoi government.