Kunal was ordered to see the Investigating Officer (IO) "thrice a week".
The IO is Deputy Superintendent of Police (District Enforcement Branch), who sits at Suri. This means that Kunal must travel from Kolkata by train to Sainthia (4 hr), and then take a bus to Suri bus stand (40 min), and then walk (10 min) to the DSP’s office to report – thrice a week – until further order. (I was told that no petition for relief was permissible until after at least a month.)
Obtaining sureties for Rs. 20000 was the next problem, but my lawyer assured me he would get one, provided I was prepared to pay him a large proportion of the bail – a proposition to which I had no option but to agree. I was able to collect about Rs. 15000, thanks to my great
friend Roberto, and called up all friends who were prepared to accompany me to receive Kunal.
On Wednesday the 15th, contrary to my anticipation, the train was quite empty, and we (14 of us from Kolkata and Barrackpore) had a very comfortable ride. After we had arrived, about 60 tribal men and women from Mollarpur, Goria and Dholkata, gathered with Uthnau's banner, and as soon as K was out in late afternoon, they walked in a rally, shouting slogans, frightening the police and the Sub-Divisional Officer, and marched around the adminisrative block in rain for an hour.
The enthusiasm of the villagers as well their righteous wrath against the unjust arrest of Kunal was becoming increasingly vocal and the gathering was collecting more and more heat. It was reassuring to see how the villagers felt solidarity with Uthnau and Kunal. Then I requested them to call off the rally, had a small tea and snacks, and exchanged happy and
relieved words. After we boarded the train with Kunal to get back home, I began realizing how much tension I had stored up in my head all these days. We arrived in Barrackpore at about 11 pm, when a proud Pushpa Devi, our mother, received Kunal after 39 days absence from her home.