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Mistake frees KLO militant for a night
- Police order probe on how wrong records were sent to jail

Malda, May 15: A KLO militant arrested in the Malda bus firing case was released by mistake from jail last night because wrong documents were dispatched by the liaison office manned by policemen.

He was re-arrested hours later and two policemen of the general records office that issued the release order were suspended.

Additional public prosecutor Dwipen Chowdhury said two men with KLO links — Kartik Mondol and Kumud Mondol — arrested in connection with the bus shooting in Habibpur on December 27 last year, were granted bail on Wednesday. “But Nabanu Barman’s name was included in the release order and sent by the general records office, instead of Kumud Mondol. The jail released Nabanu yesterday evening,” he said.

A Malda Correctional Home source said the release order they received was for Nabanu, who was arrested in Bangalore on March 29. “The general records office sent the release order and Nabanu’s case file and we let him go,” the source said.

Nabanu does not hold any post in the KLO but he is seen as senior militant leader Malkhan Singh’s right-hand man in Malda.

Nabanu, Kumud and Kartik have been charged with waging or abetting the waging of war against the state, collecting arms with the intention of waging a war against the state, voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons and attempt to murder. They have also been charged under the Arms Act for possessing illegal arms. All the charges are non-bailable.

The deputy inspector-general of police, Malda range, Satyajit Banerjee, has ordered a probe. “According to our preliminary investigation, the mistake was made by the general records office that deals with bail orders. It was the reason for the release of Nabanu Barman. He was re-arrested late last night by Bamungola police. He was produced in court of the chief judicial magistrate and remanded in jail custody for 14 days,” Banerjee said.

“We have placed under suspension the general records officer Jiten Sarkar and a clerk, Prasanta Ghosh,” said Malda police superintendent Rupesh Kumar.

Subhas Barman, the Kamtapur People’s Party (KPP) central committee member, said: “Around 8pm yesterday, I got a call from Tapasi Das, the wife of Sadhu Das, one of our KPP members who is also in jail (in the same bus firing case). She told me Nabanu was out on bail but Sadhu had not been released. I called up Gopiballav, a KPP member waiting outside the jail for the release of Kumud and Kartik. He said Nabanu had been released instead of Kumud.”

Subhas said he spoke to Nabanu on Gopiballav’s cellphone and “told him that he had been released by mistake. I told him to come to my house and we would talk about it.” Subhas said he also called up public prosecutor Tirtha Basu.

“Basu was surprised. I also called additional police superintendent, Shyam Singh, and told him about the release. By then, Nabanu reached his home in Bamungola around 9pm. Around 1.30am, a police team took him away,” Subhas said.

Today at 10am, Kumud was released.