The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday granted temporary bail to Suresh alias Richard alias Langdo, who has been serving life sentence for his role in Naroda Patiya massacre in 2002, on the ground that his daughter has been “missing”. The development comes almost a month after his wife lodged a complaint, alleging her husband of marital rape and sought divorce on these grounds.
Langdo (lame due to polio), who goes by the name of Suresh Didalwala in the court record, has been lodged inside Sabarmati Central Jail. He moved an application from the jail in the HC, praying for 30-day temporary bail on the ground that he wanted to search for his missing daughter. During the hearing, appearing for Special Investigation Team (SIT) which probed the case, special public prosecutors A Y Kogje told the court that if “the court is inclined to release the applicant on temporary bail, appropriate terms and conditions be imposed”.
Following the submission, the division bench — Justice S R Brahmbhatt and Justice K J Thaker — granted the relief. They ordered: “Looking at the grounds mentioned in the application, this court is inclined to enlarge the prisoner on temporary bail for a period of 30 days from the date of his release on his executing personal bond of Rs 5,000 before the jail authority and he shall surrender to the jail authority on expiry of the temporary bail before 5 PM..”
In the letter to the court, which was treated as his bail plea, Langdo said that he needed bail for 30 days to “search” his daughter. He said that since he was jailed, his family’s economic condition has only worsened. The letter says that his wife has left him while his younger son and a daughter are helpless and dependent on other relatives. Langdo has served about three and a half years in jail.
Langdo’s wife lodged a complaint in November last year, alleging him of marital rape and sodomy when he was out on bail six months back. His wife, a Muslim, who got married about 20 years back, has also filed a petition for divorce in the family court in Ahmedabad which will be heard on January 22. She sought divorce, stating she was “mentally and physically frustrated”. Langdo is among the 31 persons who were convicted to life imprisonment by the special court in 2012 in Naroda Patiya massacre in which 97 persons from the minority community were killed. Following the conviction, his wife, however, had defended him, arguing he was not involved in the offence.