1. The bail hearing at Calcutta High Court was moved today, the 29th April. To our utter dismay and disappointment, the bail was refused again, because the judge chose to go by nothing but the Case Diary (CD) of the police.
The first surprise came when the Public Prosecutor presented a CD that consisted of a report of police investigation that was in perfect conformity with the FIR. We had earlier surmised from the Assistant Public Prosecutor’s presentation at the Additional District Judge’s
court on the 20th April, that the CD had differed from the FIR: that there was no nude parade. In fact the APP proclaimed this discrepancy in the open court at the ADJ
hearing. So we all had counted on the CD.
However, the CD presented today appeared to be entirely different. Since none but the police keeps it, and since no record of the content of the CD is maintained by the court, it
would be impossible to prove or disprove if the CD is tampered with by the police at any time.
After adjusting himself to this initial shock, our advocate, Mr. Sekhar Basu, Bar at Law, argued that it is common knowledge how the police fabricate their CDs, and therefore go by the other existing evidence. He also appealed to common sense that if any dishonour had really happened to Hupni, it would have been natural for her husband, to lodge an FIR,
because he would feel insulted as well. Besides, there was her lover Subhas Saha and so many villagers. Instead, Hupni lodged the FIR herself with her thumb impression, with an anonymous person writing her complaint on her behalf (whose name or signature are not on
the FIR), and that 21 days after the alleged incident.
Finally, if the nude parade had actually happened, why should the names of three Uthnau
workers appear alone, and not any of the trial council which gave the punishment to Hupni? These things suffice to indicate that there was something fishy about the whole complaint. The judge did not budge, and the bail was rejected.
Now there are three (mutually non-exclusive) options:
a) Move a fresh petition at the High Court to reconsider the case;
b) Appeal to the Chief Minister to institute a CID investigation against the police;
c) Appeal to the Chief Minister to withdraw the case against Kunal altogether because the implications are all false.
Mr. Sekhar Basu and Mr. Jaymalya Bagchi have decided to fight with greater resolve and acumen, now that they know that justice is being denied and that we can no longer hope on the police report.
My mother and aunt (and myself too) showed signs of frustration and despair upon hearing the result of our pleading at the High Court. They – like many others – had in fact planned to visit and take Kunal back home tomorrow if the bail were granted. Today’s strange verdict
has stunned us all – including the advocates.
2. Ms Amrita Sengupta, Kunal's friend and a staff member of Pratichi Trust, founded by Prof. Amartya Sen, visited Kunal today at Mollarpur. She rang up and gave me the following message.
The Inspector General of Police in accompaniment of SDPO and SP, visited Kunal at Rampurhat jail. The SDPO told him that the police had arrest him in order to save him from getting killed. Kunal told them that the FIR had been lodged on the 13th March, and that he was arrested on the 2nd April. So, Kunal asked, which date do you think I would have
been killed? Besides, why did the police arrest him, instead of men who were trying to kill him? The SDPO had no answer.
Later on, the SP told Kunal that the statement he had given to the police was radically different from what he was recounting now. Kunal wanted the statement read aloud to him, and found that many of the incidents which he had told the investigating offer at the time of
his arrest, were not recorded. He argued that firstly, Kunal cannot hold responsibility for
whatever is written in the investigator’s report, as the statement did not bear Kunal’s signature.
Then the SDPO told Kunal that his story that he had been arrested from the SDPO bungalow was not true: he had arrested Kunal from a road near the station. Kunal was prompt to tell him that he knew the truth, and he knew that SDPO himself knew that he indeed had
been arrested from his bungalow. Therefore it was pointless to discuss the matter.
At the end of the discussion, both SP and SDPO were seen nervously smoking.
They went on to the villages for completing the inquiry, and asked questions to the villagers. All the villagers unanimously told them that (i) no nude parade had taken place, and (ii) Kunal had not been present in the villages on the day of the alleged incident.
I don’t keep much trust on the report of the IG, because even if he finds anomalies in all the points of the CD, he is unlikely to punish his subordinates. Also, his report cannot be included in the CD unless that is asked by a High Court bench - a remote
possibility. Nevertheless, I am going to call him tomorrow morning by phone to fix an
appointment with him and try to learn what he found in his inquiry. (I was going to call him up at 10 pm tonight, but Samantak felt that I would react too aggressively in the present state of my mind in case I found his comments disgusting. He therefore advised me to wait until tomorrow morning to cool down a bit and talk to him more tactfully. I accepted his