Guwahati, April 9: The anticipatory bail plea of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) general secretary Kamal Medhi in the February 24 self-immolation case was “dismissed as withdrawn” by the Supreme Court today.
The standing counsel of the Assam government in the Supreme Court, Abhijit Roy, told The Telegraph over phone from New Delhi that Medhi’s petition seeking pre-arrest bail was “dismissed as withdrawn” by the court after his counsel sought the court’s permission to withdraw the petition.
“The petition was dismissed as withdrawn by the court by giving the petitioner liberty to approach the court later for regular bail,” Roy said.
The special leave petition (criminal) (number 3002/14) today came up for hearing before the bench of Justices Chandramauli Kumar Prasad and Pinaki Chandra Ghose. Medhi had moved the apex court after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected by a single-judge bench of Justice Chitta Ranjan Sarma of Gauhati High Court on March 5.
The Assam government’s standing counsel said that the petitioner’s counsel sought to withdraw the petition after the apex court rapped the petitioner in the self-immolation case. “The court took exception to the fact that a poor person was instigated to immolate himself by some persons for their political gain,” Roy said. He said the petitioner’s counsel had submitted in the court that the case against Medhi was a political one and he had objected to it.
The KMSS, however, stated that the petition was withdrawn because of “technical reasons”.
“The court also questioned why a leader had not immolated himself instead of instigating the poor landless people to self-immolate,” said public prosecutor, Assam, Z. Kamar.
Pranab Boro, a KMSS member, had immolated himself near the state secretariat in Dispur on February 24 demanding land rights for the landless people in the city.
A case in this connection is registered at Dispur police station.
According to police, Medhi is one of the accused, who had abetted Boro to immolate himself. Medhi is now absconding.
In a statement issued here today, the KMSS said that the anticipatory bail application was withdrawn on technical grounds soon after the hearing began at the apex court today. The KMSS leaders, including its president Akhil Gogoi, said they had decided to withdraw the bail application fearing that the Assam government counsel might try to make the process lengthy in the court.
The KMSS said that it had decided to face the situation politically. “We have decided to give a political reply to the conspiracy of the Assam government and hence appeal to our general secretary, Kamal Kumar Medhi, to face the case politically,” the statement said.
It said the executive committee meeting of the KMSS on April 11 would take a decision on its further course of action regarding Medhi’s case. “Our leader Kamal Kumar Medhi will stand before people and face the case slapped on him by the government and will expose the government’s conspiracy,” the statement said. Akhil and five other KMSS members were arrested on March 2 on charges of abetting the self-immolation bid by Pranab Boro.