| KMSS activists protest in front of Dighalipukhuri in Guwahati on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Guwahati, March 19: Gauhati High Court today granted bail to Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader Akhil Gogoi and five of his associates in the self-immolation case.
But Akhil will not be able to walk out of prison since his bail petitions are pending in lower court in seven other cases, which were registered against him earlier in connection with different incidents.
The high court, however, dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of KMSS general secretary Kamal Medhi.
Akhil and five others — Debendra Nath Sarma, Ibrahim Ali, Norul Islam, Gajendra Baishya and Hareswar Kalita — were arrested from Guwahati on March 2 for allegedly abetting Pranab Boro to immolate himself near the state secretariat at Dispur on February 24 during an agitation demanding land rights for landless people in the city.
Akhil’s counsel Bijon Mahajan said the court of Justice Chitta Ranjan Sarma granted bail to Akhil and his associates in case number 327/2014 registered against them at Dispur police station under Sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the IPC. The bail was granted to them for Rs 25,000 each and a surety of similar amount.
Police had also shown him arrested in these seven cases after his arrest in the self-immolation case in an apparent attempt to delay his release from judicial custody.
The court today granted bail to the six on three conditions — the accused shall not leave the area under the jurisdiction of chief judicial magistrate, Kamrup (metro), without prior permission of the court, they shall not interfere with the investigation in any manner, and shall not induce or threaten any person connected with the case.
During the hearing of the bail petition, Mahajan submitted in the court that there was no material to show the involvement of Akhil and his associates in any criminal conspiracy abetting Boro’s self-immolation.
The bail plea was vehemently opposed by public prosecutor Ziaul Kamar, who argued that the police had sufficient material to show that the accused abetted and motivated Boro to immolate himself.
After perusing the case diary and other relevant documents and evidences submitted by the police, the high court found that further custodial detention of the accused was not required in this case and decided to grant them bail.
Akhil is in judicial custody since March 7. Prior to that he had spent five days in police custody.
He and his associates were produced in the court of the chief judicial magistrate, Kamrup (metro), here today amid strong police presence in connection with the other cases in which he was shown arrested by the police and remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.
Chaotic scenes were witnessed near the CJM court when Akhil’s supporters shouted “Akhil Gogoi zindabad” and the police resorted to caning to disperse them.
Akhil also protested when police personnel prevented him from speaking to the media and bundled him into a jeep.