Watch Court, HC tells cops after releasing ‘Naxal’
Nagpur: In a big respite for alleged Naxal leader Maruti Kurwatkar, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Wednesday ordered his release, while censuring Gadchiroli police for not following procedures while rearresting him. A division bench comprising Justice Bhushan Gavai and Justice Prasanna Varale also directed court registry to add Gadchiroli superintendent of police Sandip Patil as respondent and issued notice to him, returnable by October 7.
While being released, Kurwatkar was asked to provide two sureties of Rs15,000 each from Nagpur and Chandrapur. The judges, in terse words, asked the government to stage the screening of critically acclaimed Marathi movie ‘Court’ for all police personnel with a view to sensitize them in dealing with issues like human rights. The movie, directed by Chaitanya Tamhane, was recently selected as India’s official entry for the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category for next year’s Oscar awards.
The judges flayed police for putting Kurwatkar behind bars without producing an arrest warrant and not following other procedures, thus bringing a bad name to their profession. The petitioner’s counsels — Nihalsingh Rathod and Surendra Gadling — contended that an investigating officer was not assigned to Kurtwatkar after his rearrest. Instead, it was a local crime branch officer who handled the case. They pointed out that their client was kept behind bars for three days without production warrant, which is clear violation of Supreme Court guidelines and Prison Manual. Earlier, DIG Ravindra Kadam filed an affidavit stating that three cases were pending against Kurwatkar.
The 35-year-old was picked up by police on September 12, immediately after he was released from Nagpur Central Jail on bail, following his acquittal in some cases. He was behind bars from January 2012 for about three years and eight months after Chandrapur police first arrested him at Talodhi. His lawyers added that about 50-60 police were waiting in plainclothes outside jail premises, who whisked him away as soon as he was released. He was not even allowed to meet his lawyers and family members before he was rearrested.
During the last hearing, the court orally passed strictures on respondents without following due procedure of law. The judges observed that police need to be taught importance of citizens’ liberty as mentioned in the Constitution of India. The police were warned that they should be ready for punishment in case of failure to come up with valid reasons for Kurwatkar’s rearrest.
Police in Chhattisgarh’s Korea district combing forests of five PS areas after inputs about suspected Naxalite movement
BILASPUR: Police is combing forests of five police station areas of Korea district of north Chhattisgarh, about 250 km from here. The operatioon was launched following input with regard to suspected Naxalite movement in the area. When contacted, Korea ASP Kirtan Rathore, who along with CSP RN Yadav is leading the search operation, confirmed the news. Speaking to TOI soon after a patrolling of the forests on Wednesday evening, Rathore informed that there have been reports from villagers about movement of people, who appeared to be Naxalites through forests of Ramgarh, Sonhat and Kotadol areas. Then there were similar reports from Kelhari and Janakpur areas.
Following the reports about a 100-strong police team, including 25 officers, began a search operation in forests of Ramgarh, Sonhat, Kotadol, Kelhari and Janakpur police station areas bordering Madhya Pradesh and Surajpur district of the state, said Rathore. The ASP added that during the last four days of search although police did not encounter any Naxalite group in the region, search operation will continue as it has made people, especially in remote forest areas feel more secure.
Former rebel shot, cops suspect Maoist involvement
DHANBAD: A former rebel was allegedly killed by Maoists at Pandri village under Taratand police station area of Giridih district on Tuesday night. Police said the perpetrators had mutilated the face of Nimai Goswami (45) and slit his throat, before pumping two bullets into him to ensure that he was dead. The incident took place along the Dhanbad-Giridih main road, which is barely five km from Taratand Police Station (PS) in Giridih and 45km from Dhanbad district.
“Posters and pamphlets found at the site of occurrence point towards the possibility of Maoist involvement in the crime. Apart from slapping other allegations against the deceased, they had branded him as a police informer”, Giridih SP Kuldeep Dwivedi said. Goswami, a resident of Koyri-Jamuar under Palajori Police Station of Deoghar district, used to put up with his in-laws at Sarwan village under Ahilyapur PS of Giridih for the past many years. He used to supply locally prepared food items to shops in neighbouring villages. “A dozen armed assailants had picked him up from somewhere and killed him on the main road some time between 9-10 pm on Tuesday.
Soon after receiving information, we visited the site of occurrence and started a probe into the matter. As per the statement of the deceased’s wife, Goswami was out of touch for the past three days”, said deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Sambhu Kumar Singh. The body was brought to the Giridih Sadar hospital for autopsy and an FIR was lodged with Taratand PS in this connection, he said. The Maoists, the posters strewn on the site of shooting read, hold Goswami responsible for the arrest of their commander – Pravir Da – who was trapped into police net about a year ago.