The Calcutta High Court Wednesday rejected the bail prayer of two Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) activists arrested in connection with the murder of a college student.
The division bench of Justices Joymalya Bagchi and Shankar Acharya dismissed the bail plea of Sheikh Munna and Sanawar Ali, two of the 21 accused who had been chargesheeted for the murder of Krishna Prasad Jana, a third-year BA student of Sajanikanta Mahavidyalaya in West Midnapore’s Sabang. Jana was beaten to death by student union members on August 7 for refusing to attend a felicitation ceremony held for state minister Soumen Mahapatra.
Moving the bail petition, advocate Pratim Chowdhury argued that since these two persons were not slapped with murder charges, they had prayed for bail in a court in West Midnapore district which had rejected it and therefore they had approached the high court.
Justice Bagchi wanted to know from Public Prosecutor Manjit Singh why the two TMCP activists were not accused of the same charges as the other 19 accused — workers of Chhatra Parishad, the student wing of Congress — since they were all involved in the alleged murder. The court rejected the bail prayer when the prosecutor failed to give any response.
The court also criticised the role of district police and directed it to conduct the investigation in an “unbiased manner”.
“We, as the defacto complainant, have opposed the bail plea and the chargesheet submitted by the police, which we believe had been filed in an unfair manner. While the complainant, Soumen Ganguly, along with 18 others of Chhatra Parishad had been charged with non-bailable sections, including Section 302 (murder) of the IPC, the two TMCP members, who had been charged with murder in the preliminary investigation, were charged under bailable sections in the final chargesheet even though the two are prime accused present at the time and place of occurrence (of the alleged crime),” Joydeep Banerjee, counsel for the complainant, argued before the bench.
The court then rejected the bail on the ground that there were “circumstantial evidence” against the two accused.
CPM MP Mohammad Selim and BJP MLA Samik Bhattacharya welcomed the court’s judgement.
Former Congress state president and current MLA from Sabang, Manas Bhuniya alleged that the district Superintendent of Police had “tampered with the chargesheet” to shield the two TMCP workers. “All this was done to remain in the good books of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. But we have full faith in the legal system and are sure that the guilty will be punished.,” he said.