February 09, 2020

TRIPURA: Badal Chowdhury Released on Bail

Rahul Sinha

AFTER spending 86 days in police and judicial custody as a victim of political vendetta of the BJP- IPFT government, Badal Chowdhury, CPI(M) Central Committee member and deputy leader of opposition in state legislative assembly, finally got bail on February 1. Justice Arindam Lodh of Tripura High Court granted him bail as the police failed to submit chargesheet against him even after almost three months.

Badal Chowdhury was arrested in connection with a politically motivated false case of financial irregularities registered on October 13 last year. A plea for granting him bail was heard on January 31. But the government sought time on that date. The judge ordered to produce case diary and gave the date of hearing on February 1.  After a brief argument, Justice Arindam Lodh granted Badal Chowdhury bail on a bond of rupees one lakh.  After the bail order was passed, Badal Chowdhury’s lawyer, senior advocate Purushottam Ray Barman told the press, “We from the very beginning had maintained that no criminal case stands against my client. This is a clear case of political vendetta by the government.  The failure on the part of the police and prosecution to submit any substantial proof against him and their utter failure to submit chargesheet even after keeping him in custody for 86 days clearly proves our point of argument.”

A little before 5 pm, CPI(M) leaders including state secretary Gautam Das,  state secretariat member Narayan Kar and a host of Party leaders accompanied with lawyers brought out Badal Chowdhury from the central jail at Bishalgarh.  Hundreds of people were waiting eagerly outside to greet their beloved leader. When his car arrived at Agartala, hundreds of Party workers, youth and students organised a spontaneous procession to greet him. The chilling winter evening turned warm with slogans of "Red Salute to  Badal Chowdhury", "Inquilab Zindabad", " Jail ke taale kachche they, hamare Badal sachche they". As he reached the CPI(M) state committee office the entire road in front of the office got blocked with enthusiastic and cheering crowd.

Here in a short speech he said, “This government framed a false case against me and put me behind the bars to defame me and our Party. The BJP governments both at the centre and in the state are betraying the youth. The profit making PSUs are being sold out to the corporates. There is no job for the youth. On top of that they are trying to divide people on communal lines in the name of CAA,  NPR, NRC.
“In Tripura, a dangerous situation has been created. They had promised job to the youth but has backstabbed them. No other government has done so much harm to the country and the state. With the people of the country, people of our state too have started raising voice against these anti-people policies. He described how he has been treated inhumanly by the police in the lock up. Badal Chowdhury said, “Just like Hitler, BJP here has targeted the communists as its main enemy and it is mounting attacks on us just as Hitler did. But, finally victory will be ours.”