1. Some days ago, I spoke to Sri Binay Krishna Konar and Sri Biman Basu, elder leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) at the party headquarters in Kolkata. They gave me a patient hearing. Since then, local leaders of CPI(M) at Mollarpur have given public speeches against the local illegal quarry and crusher owners a few days ago. The current stance of the party's local committee is to oppose any illegal operation of quarries and crushers.
2. Two days ago, the Star News showed a short documentary on the illegal stone quarries and crushers in Mollarpur area - in the area of operation of Uthnau. The film interviwed tribal workers and a few government officials, and showed the government apathy toward the illegal tribal land transfer, continuing child labor and absolute negligence of health and environmental safety of workers in the crushers and quarries.
3. The Times of India has started publishing a four-part news feature on Uthnau's work and Kunal's arrest.
4. Yesterday, Mr. J R Bhagat, Inspector General of Police, Western Zone, visited Goria village, and spoke to villagers to record the truth. The villagers all told him that a trial had indeed been held, but no such incident as a nude humiliation had taken place, and that Kunal had not been present in the village during the trial. They insisted that Kunal was booked in a conspiracy by the quarry industry, and as a result the villagers were not receiving the medical treatment from the medical centre of Uthnau, nor could they send children to the free school run by Uthnau, as both are closed down. Mr. Bhagat was accompanied by the SDPO of Rampurhat.
5. At least two NGOs - Paschim Banga Khet Majur Samiti and Jana Samhati Kendra - tell me that they are willing to participate in carrying on Uthnau's work in collaboration with Uthnau's workers, until Kunal is exonerated from the charges and can get back to work with Uthnau.
6. Meanwhile, there are some people at Barrackpore, Kunal's and my town of residency (that is, when we are not out on field trips), who are on a whispering campaign that both of us brothers have loose morals in terms of multiple sexual relationships with women. A woman even showed up in the office of Association of Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) - a renowned civil rights NGO demanding Kunal's release - and told them stories of her sexploitation by me, asked them to withdraw support for Kunal. Some members of APDR did get swayed, and were considering whether they had made a mistake in signing the petition for Kunal's release. However, they have decided to continue support for us until they receive evidential information regarding her allegations.
7. Swati informs me that so far about 200 signatures have been collected with the on-line petition, and is going to send email to Buddhadev Bhattacharya, Chief Minister of West Bengal. She will also send a fax copy of the same, lest the email is not accessed by his office.
8. Tomorrow morning, Kunal's bail petition will be heard at Court #2 of Calcutta High Court at 10:30 am.