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Bail denied to 9A accused Mamta

Mamta Agarwal

The state government contested in Calcutta High Court on Wednesday murder-accused Mamta Agarwal’s submission for bail that she had fired at trespassers at 9A Short Street in self-defence.

The high court denied her bail after hearing both sides.

Two bouncers of a private security agency were killed in the shooting on November 11 last year.

Public prosecutor Manjit Singh told the division bench headed by Justice S.K. Mukherjee that the “accused had claimed she was fighting to save her life and opened fire, but CCTV footage and statements by witnesses did not back her claims”.

Mamta, the principal of a kindergarten school operating from the address, had moved her first bail petition since her arrest 80 days ago.

Y.J. Dastoor, counsel for Mamta, said his client had opened fire to save her life from the trespassers whom she thought were rapists. “My client had thought that the persons who were killed in the firing were rapists. She wanted to save her life,” he said.

He told the court that his client has already spent 80 days in custody and the investigators have yet to file the chargesheet.

The Supreme Court had ruled that if police failed to submit the chargesheet against an accused within 90 days, the defendant could obtain bail.

Arguing against the bail petition, the public prosecutor said Mamta had fired at least seven shots since 4.43am on November 11 when 21 trespassers sneaked into the premises apparently to usurp the sprawling property caught in a legal tangle for decades.

“According to a guard who is an eyewitness, the accused had fired before the bouncers came close to her,” Singh said.

He said the investigation in the Short Street shooting was on and the detectives would submit the chargesheet in 10 days.

“The process of investigation is yet to be completed. Police will submit the chargesheet within 10 days. The court should not grant bail to the accused at this stage,” Singh said.

Mamta and a school guard were among 11 people arrested that day, including nine trespassers. A realtor and seven others were nabbed later.