Monday, January 21, 2008

West Bengal: Girl accused of Maoist links gets bail

Kolkata, January 21 The Calcutta High Court granted bail to Putul Haldar (19), charged with being involved with a Maoist outfit, on Monday. A Division Bench comprising Justices Girish Chandra Gupta and KK Prasad upheld the bail petition moved by advocate Uttam Mazumdar.

In August 2007, members of a suspected Maoist group snatched two rifles from the police at Chapra in Nadia district. Suspecting the girl's involvement, Chapra police picked up Putul on August 19. She was kept in the lock-up for a few days but the police did not file any case against her. Her father Rabin Haldar then lodged a complaint with the Nadia Chief Judicial Magistrate, stating that the police had taken her into custody without levelling any charge. The CJM had asked the SP to file an inquiry report within seven days.

In the report, the SP said Putul had links with Maoists in the area. Chakdah police, meanwhile, alleged that Putul was involved in illegal trafficking of narcotics, including ganja. She was arrested on August 23 with 2.8 kg of ganja but even after five months in jail, the police failed to frame a chargesheet against her.

Toady Mazumdar moved the plea, stating that the police arrested Putul on the mere suspicion of involvement with Maoists. He added that this was an example of how the police were harassing innocent people in the name of action against Maoists.

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