July 1, 2022 4:03:32 am
The Calcutta High Court on Thursday ordered the issuing of a rule of contempt directing West Bengal Director General of Police (DGP) Manoj Malaviya and others for “violating its January 5 order” to allow Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari to visit Netai village in Paschim Medinipur district on January 7, the anniversary of the killing of nine persons in 2011, and asked them to appear before it in person by July 28.
Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya ordered that a rule of contempt be issued directing the DGP and others to show cause for willfully violating the court order of January 5, 2022.
“Upon reading a petition of Suvendu Adhikari and his affidavit of verification thereof, dated January 10, 2022, and the exhibits or annexures to the said petition and upon hearing Mr Rajdeep Mazumder, learned counsel for the petitioner it is ordered that a Rule do issue calling upon the alleged contemnors as pleaded in contempt application to show cause as to why they should not be committed to prison or otherwise penalised or dealt with for having willfully violated the order dated January 5, 2022 passed by this court in WPA No.129 of 2022,” the High Court in its order said.
On a prayer by Adhikari seeking direction to the state government to allow him to visit Netai for paying homage to the martyrs on January 7, Justice Bhattacharyya had on January 5 said that the petitioner and his security personnel have the right as citizens of India to visit not only the village but any other place in India, subject to legal restrictions, without violating any provision of law.
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Adhikari was on his way to pay homage to the victims of the genocide in Netai on January 8 when he was allegedly stopped 20 km before Netai. It is alleged that Adhikari was forced to return on the instructions of the DGP, Jhargram Superintendent of Police and Additional Superintendent of Police.
Adhikari had then moved a contempt application against the DGP and other officers, claiming that despite an order of the court, he was not allowed to visit Netai on the said day.
Indiscriminate firing allegedly by the then ruling CPI(M) worker killed nine people in Netai village on January 7, 2011.
Expressing dissatisfaction over a CID probe into the killings, the Calcutta High Court had in February 2011 ordered a CBI inquiry into the massacre. The CBI had filed a charge sheet against 20 people in May 2014; out of them, 12 were arrested.
The Left Front government’s appeal against the HC order was turned down by the Supreme Court. — WITH PTI INPUTS
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