Nandigram violence: 3 CPM men granted anticipatory bail

14 Dec 2017

The Calcutta High Court today granted anticipatory bail to three CPI-M workers accused of being involved in violence in Nandigram on March 14, 2007 during the anti-land acquisition movement when 14 persons were killed allegedly in police firing. Seeking anticipatory bail, the counsel for the three accused, Bikash Bhattacharya, claimed that they have been framed because of their allegiance to the CPI-M.
Bhattacharya claimed that the three have been unnecessarily dragged into the case and that they were not involved in any violence on the said date. CBI counsel Ashraf Ali opposed their plea and submitted that there was evidence of their involvement in the violence. Hearing both the parties, a division bench comprising justices Dipankar Dutta and A Chattopadhyay granted anticipatory bail to Prajapati Das, Rabiul Hossain and Bijon Roy, all of whom are local CPI-M leaders. On March 14, 2007, at the height of anti-land acquisition agitation in Nandigram, 14 persons were killed in alleged police firing on agitators. The Calcutta High Court had on the next day ordered a CBI investigation into the police firing, taking suo motu cognisance. The CBI had filed the first charge sheet against 39 persons in 2008 and the second charge sheet was filed against 129 persons in 2013.
On June 27 this year, the investigating agency filed a charge sheet against 12 more persons, including the three petitioners. In 2007, the CPI-M-led Left Front was at the helm of the state government, while the present chief minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee was spearheading the anti-land acquisition movement as the main opposition leader in the state. (PTI)