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R Udayagiri operation accused released on bail

PARALAKHEMUNDI, April 5: Twenty two persons, including two teenage girls who had been arrested by Gajapati police on charges of being involved in the R Udayagiri carnage perpetrated by Naxalites on 24 March 2006, have been released on bail by the additional district judge, Paralakhemundi, yesterday.

In a setback to police investigations, all the 22 accused were released on bail as the prosecution failed to convince the court of the grounds to reject their appeal for bail and to provide adequate evidence in support of the accusation of arson which allegedly resulted in the death of two OSAP constables. Police failed to prove the charges brought against the accused of kidnapping the OIC of R Udayagiri PS and the superintendent of the R Udayagiri Sub Jail.

The SP of Gajapati, Mr AK Sinha, was not available for comments on the development. According to defence advocate Mr Upendra Nayak police had arrested the accused on the basis of their conjectures inspired by the film Lal Salam with the famous actress Nandita Das acting in the lead role. In fact Nandita Das had decried the arrests which she thought were based on the viewing of the film. "It is interesting that police have failed to present the two officers who had been kidnapped as their witnesses for once during the course of the trial," stated Mr Upendra Nayak. The accused were released with a surety of around Rs 20,000. As in the defence advocate's argument the name of Nandita Das cropped up several times, the judge asked if the defence could produce the actress as a witness.

All the accused were confined to the Berhampur Circle Jail for security reasons and will be released on Tuesday. The bail plea had been filed in the matter of 174/06 of JMFC R Udayagiri in Narendra Dengamaka, Muluka Majhi, Prasanta Kadraka and Manoj Majhi Vs State of Orissa and GR66/06 which had Ulesh Rika and 11 others Vs State of Orissa and 67,68,69,70,71,181 and 182/06 with the same accused Vs State of Orissa. The girls were accused in the case 174/06 Vs State of Orissa and an old man, Dukha Majhi, was arrested under 175/06 for seeing the said movie but was released as police failed to file the charge sheet.

The Statesman

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posted by Resistance 4/06/2007 09:03:00 AM,

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