Bail for Mamata's 'Maoist'
The West Midnapore farmer, who had dared to quiz the chief minister on the state of farmers in Bengal at a Jangalmahal rally, was released from the Jhargram jail on Friday.
Locked away in a cell in the wake of shooting uncomfortable posers at the chief minister during her recent Jhargram rally, Shiladitya Choudhury was on Friday granted bail by the Midnapore district court, thereby clearing the decks for his eventual release.
Even as he was hounded by waiting mediapersons the moment he stepped out of the correctional, Shiladitya, coy and seemingly overawed by the glare of flashbulbs, skirted comments and bowed his head in a manner of greeting to all those waiting outside. Scores of locals from Binpur and his native Nayagram reportedly came to receive him upon release on the day. Making his way through the teeming numbers outside the correctional, Shiladitya along with his brother Tilak Choudhury, soon left for home.
Shortly after being produced before Samar Roy, the district and sessions judge of the Midnapore district court, Chiranjib Bhowmick, Shiladitya lawyer, moved a fresh bail plea for his client. "The district court granted bail to my client (Shiladitya) on a personal bond of R1000. Though he had been booked under several non-bailable sections, the learned judge saw it fit to grant him bail," Bhowmick, also a Congress leader, told HT.
As proceedings began on the day, Bhowmick argued that though the cops had accused his client of wrenching away from the police after being arrested and leaving many injured, they had failed to furnish enough evidence to back their claim.
"There were no reports of any injuries to policemen. My client was booked under false charges. Though there were several other persons in the high security zone, the chief minister ordered arrest of my client. He paid for quizzing the chief minister," Bhowmick told HT.
Even as the chief minister stood on the dais addressing the numbers during her Jhargram rally on August 8, Shiladitya cut her short and quizzed her on the measures taken by her government to address the plight of farmers in the state. Though he was herded away and released later on the day of rally, the sleuths subsequently booked him for disruption and several other counts and got him arrested on August 11. He was later produced at the Jhargram sub-divisional court and was sentenced to 14-day judicial custody.
A section of local lawyers aligned to the Congress moved a bail petition last week, claiming that Shiladitya had been arrested on false charges.
Chief minister stood transfixed as Shiladitya went, "Farmers across the state are dying. Hollow promises aren't enough to redress the plight of farmers. What has your government done for us farmers?" Outraged, the chief minister labeled him a Maoist and asked policemen to lock him away.