Suri court denies bail to Deocha-Pachami protesters
The additional chief judicial magistrate of Birbhum district court at Suri on Thursday rejected bail prayers of nine persons, including seven Calcutta-based activists, who had been arrested after a rally against the proposed Deocha-Pachami coal mine project on February 20.
The arrested persons, including Left leaning economist Prasenjit Bose, were sent to judicial custody for six more days. They will be produced in the court again on March 1.
The advocates appearing for the arrested people and some outfits supporting the movement against the coal mine said the police “intentionally” did not submit the injury report of “the complainant in the cases” to the court to delay the release of the activists.
“The police intentionally did not submit the injury reports in the case today and as a result, the court could not grant bail to arrested people. Injury reports of the complainants are important for bail as the court always judges the charges by going through them. The bail prayer was rejected because of lack of such documents which the police usually submit to the court along with the case diary,” said lawyer Syed Shabahat Hussain Kazmi who appeared for the arrested activists.
The two local tribal persons, who had been arrested along with the seven from Calcutta and remanded in police custody on February 21, were also sent to judicial custody on Thursday.
Sources said the police had filed two separate cases against the Calcutta-based activists and 30 local tribal people. They were all charged with attempt to murder, abduction of a Trinamul leader and attack on the police.
The police registered the first case for an alleged attack on the law enforcers who went to rescue Trinamul leader Sunil Soren. The second case deals with alleged abduction of Soren and attempt to murder him.
“The police had on February 21 produced the arrested persons in court for their involvement in the first case. Today (Thursday), they produced the same accused in the court in connection with the second case,” said Somnath Mukherjee, another advocate who appeared for the arrested persons.
Several organisations, which stood by the protestors, voiced their concerns about the manner in which the district police were allegedly trying to derail the bail process and extend the incarceration of the accused.
“The police failed to provide any evidence of their unlawful activity and even failed to produce injury reports. The fact that the police under the leadership of Birbhum district police chief Nagendra Nath Tripathi failed to produce the injury reports even four days after the alleged incident shows the level of incompetence of the investigators,” Young Bengal, a Calcutta-based Left leaning outfit, said in a press statement.