Murder accused walks free after 26 years in jail - Hindustan Times
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Murder accused walks free after 26 years in jail

By, Patna
Apr 22, 2022 09:45 PM IST

An undertrial prisoner from Deoria in Uttar Pradesh, who spent nearly three decades in a jail in Bihar’s Gopalganj on charges of murdering his friend without ever being convicted, finally walked free on Friday, lawyers involved in the case said.

An undertrial prisoner from Deoria in Uttar Pradesh, who spent nearly three decades in a jail in Bihar’s Gopalganj on charges of murdering his friend without ever being convicted, finally walked free on Friday, lawyers involved in the case said.

Court of additional district and session judge in Gopalganj acquitted the accused for want of evidence. (Picture for representation)
Court of additional district and session judge in Gopalganj acquitted the accused for want of evidence. (Picture for representation)

Birbal Bhagat, a native of Tandwa village in Deoria district of UP, was 28 when he was arrested by the Gopalganj police and sent to judicial custody on January 27, 1994, on the charges of murdering his friend Suryanarayan Bhagat.

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According to details of the case, on June 11, 1993, Birbal came to visit his friend Suryanarayan, a resident of Hariharpur in Goplaganj, and both left together for Muzaffarpur in Bihar, after which the latter went missing. On June 18, 1993, Suryanarayan’s son Satyanarayan filed a case against Birbal, accusing him of abduction and murder of his father.

Days later, Deoria police recovered an unidentified body and disposed it after 72 hours. Later, on the basis of pictures provided by Deoria police, Suryanarayan’s family members said it was him.

Months later, Birbal was arrested by Gopalganj police.

On Thursday, court of additional district and session judge-5 Vishwabhuti Gupta in Gopalganj finally acquitted Birbal for want of evidence and in view of the fact that police had failed to file a charge sheet against him in the case.

According to additional public prosecutor Parvez Hasan, even the investigating officer in the case and the doctor who carried autopsy on the body of Suryanarayan did not turn up before the court.

Defence lawyer Raghvendra Sinha told HT that the trial, in its early phase, was run in a fast-track court, which has been defunct for a long time now. Finally, the case was transferred to the court of ADJ-5 who took up the matter seriously. Sinha said Birbal’s family members never took an initiative in procuring bail for him.

Meanwhile, while he was in jail, Birbal lost his mother and father.

“I am very happy today. I spent nearly 28 years in prison. I had given up hope that I would be proved innocent. These years were very difficult,” said Birbal.

Jail superintendent Amit Kumar refused to share any details on Birbal.

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