Dayamani Barla being taken to a Ranchi civil court on Tuesday. (Hardeep Singh)
Firebrand tribal leader Dayamani Barla arrived at a Ranchi court on Tuesday and surrendered herself in a six-year-old case.
Barla, who was remanded in 14-day judicial custody by first class magistrate S.K. Maharaj, made the move after she came to learn that the court on September 23 had declared her absconder and issued an order to attach her property.
The case dates back to 2006, when an FIR was filed against Barla and others after she led a group of 1,000 rural people to Angara block office, demanding job cards under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
“Barla has been forwarded to Birsa Munda Central Jail for 14 days after she surrendered before the court for legal proceedings in a case registered on April 29, 2006,” said her advocate Sitalashish Bhattacharya.
Asked about the bail petition that the tribal leader filed at the time of surrender, he said that its fate would be decided on October 18.
Barla blamed a “faulty system” for the situation, saying that she did not receive any legal notice or else she would have definitely appeared before the court. “It’s indeed strange that I was declared absconder though I was always present in the city and had confrontation with police on the roads several times. I was also arrested for agitating against construction of educational institutions on tribal land,” she said.
“It is a matter of concern that neither any summon nor any warrant issued by the court reached me,” Barla added on her way towards the lock-up on court premises.
More than 1,000 unknown people and tribal leaders like Ratan Tirkey, Amulya Neeraj Khalkho, Laxmi Naratan Munda, Rampado Mahto, Babua Manki, Asharam Mahto, Neelu Tiwari, Jagan Linda, Sanjeev Kumar, Chari Toppo and Barla were named in the FIR.
They were charged under sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting after being armed with deadly weapon), 149 (rioting with common intention), 341 (wrongful restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 337 (intentionally causing hurt endangering life and personal safety of other), 291 (continuance of nuisance after injunction to discontinue), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the IPC.
But except Barla, all were granted bail after they turned up before the court on time.