Skip to main content

Attempt to murder, dacoity for 'violent' protest? Gujarat HC bail to Rajkot migrants

By Our Representative
The Gujarat High Court has granted bail to 15 migrant workers, who were charged under Sections 307 (attempt to murder) and Section 395 (dacoity) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and put behind bars for participating in violent incidents which took place on May 17, 2020 in Shapar, about 20 kilomtres from Rajkot, for demanding trains to return to their native states.
During the incident, in which thousands of migrant protesters turned violent, a few police personnel and a journalist were reportedly injured. The chaos broke out after the migrants gathered at the Field Marshal School, from where they were supposed to be taken in buses to the Rajkot railway station.
The workers were angry over the lack of proper communication from the district authorities. They blocked the highway and pelted stones on the travellers and police personnel. The applications for regular bail of 15 migrant workers was filed through advocates Anand Yagnik and Pratikkumar Rupala. It came up for hearing before Justice Gita Gopi of the Gujarat High Court on July 7.
Yagnik, during his submission, said that the Shramik Express trains were running from Rajkot, but in order to reach the Rajkot railway station, neither the Shapar Veraval Police Station, nor the district collector, Rajkot, made any arrangement for them. The workers, including the applicant based in Shapar, wanting to go to their respective states were desperate.
The workers, said Yagnik, had duly registered themselves with the Railways to go back to their states. They found that the local revenue and police authorities were indifferent and lethargic towards arranging buses to go from Shapar to the Rajkot railway station on the day the Shramik Express was to leave. Hence, the Shramik Express left without workers.
This, argued Yagnik, enraged the workers as they were completely dependent on police and revenue authorities to avail the services of the Shramik Express. Those who tried to walk on their own from Shapar to Rajkot were arrested for violating the lockdown under various penal provisions of several legislations. Surprisingly, Section 307, i.e. attempt to murder, and Section 395, dacoity,were alleged against the migrant workers.
Yagnik continued, the workers had no intention or motive to kill any police personnel and it was only a sudden flareup, which led to chaos. No police personnel was admitted in the hospital even for a day, even as several workers were badly injured. He added, apart from Sections 307 and 395, all other offences registered against the migrant workers were bailable.
Many migrant workers, who were arrested, were not even present at the scene of offence, said Yagnik, citing directions by the Supreme Court to consider withdrawing cases against the workers who have violated the measures of lockdown, requesting the Gujarat High Court to to consider granting bail to the applicants.
Local revenue and police authorities were indifferent and lethargic towards arranging buses to go from Shapar to the Rajkot railway
The State government opposed the bail plea on the grounds that police personnel were badly injured during the incident and that the video camera of a journalist was taken away by the migrant workers. It was further argued that public property, police as well as private vehicles were damaged by workers, and therefore the bail plea should be rejected.
The Gujarat High Court, while allowing bail to the 15 migrant workers, said, it was deciding this on the ground that sentiments of the migrant labourers were at an all time high on account of the prevailing situation, when they wished to return to their native states as early as possible.
In her order, Justice Gita Gopi also said that the police had failed to “manage/control” the situation appropriately, adding, the entire incident could have been “averted” if there would have been proper coordination between the police and the Nodal Officers appointed for ensuring that the workers reached the Rajkot railway station.
Referring to the Apex Court judgment, which had asked all states/UTs to consider withdrawal of complaints/prosecution under the Disaster Management Act and other related offences lodged against the migrant labourers, who are alleged to have violated measures of lockdown by moving onroads, the order said, the police was required to handle the crowd tactfully.
The court said, “Taking into consideration the fact that there would not have been any intention on the part of the migrant labourers to even attempt to murder, the police personnel and considering the injuries sustained by the police personnel which were not life threatening, the discretion is exercised to enlarge them on bail.”
The 15 migrant workers were ordered to be released on regular bail on on executing personal bond of Rs 1,000 by each of the applicants” but under the condition that they shall not take undue advantage of their liberty, not act in a manner injurious to the interest of the prosecution, furnish the present address of residence, and not change the residence without prior permission of the concerned trial court.

Comments

TRENDING

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Union budget 'mum' on relief to marginalised communities facing climate change impact

Counterview Desk  ActionAid, an international advocacy group which claims to work for a world without poverty, patriarchy and injustice, has wondered if the Union budget 2023-24, which is being acclaimed for providing succour to the middle classes, has anything to offer to the India's poor. In a statement, it said, while the budget may have "prioritised inclusive development", the financial outlay for ensuring it "does not show the zeal as hoped." Stating that the Finance Minister said Rs 35,000 crore revenue would have to be "forgone" due to a reduction in personal income taxes, "fiscal prudence is not enough to expand public employment, social security, welfare, education and health expenditures considerably." "The need of the hour is to raise revenues through the reduction of revenues forgone and innovative mechanisms such as wealth tax on super accumulation of wealth", it added. Text: The Union Budget 2023 has given significant

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

How lead petitioner was rendered homeless when GM mustard matter came up in SC

By Rosamma Thomas*  On January 5, 2023, the Supreme Court stayed a December 20, 2022 direction of the Uttarakhand High Court to the Indian Railways and the district administration of Haldwani to use paramilitary forces to evict thousands of poor families occupying land that belonged to the railways.  Justice AS Oka remarked that it was not right to order the bringing in of paramilitary forces. The SC held that even those who had no rights, but were living there for years, needed to be rehabilitated. On December 21, 2022, just as she was getting ready to celebrate Christmas, researcher Aruna Rodrigues was abruptly evicted from her home in Mhow Cantonment, Madhya Pradesh – no eviction notice was served, and nearly 30 Indian Army soldiers bearing arms were part of the eviction process. What is noteworthy in this case is that the records establishing possession of the house date back to 1892 – the title deed with the name of Dr VP Cardoza, Rodrigues’ great grandfather, is dated November 14

Why no information with Assam state agency about female rhino poaching for a year?

By Nava Thakuria   According to official claims, incidents of poaching related to rhinoceros in various forest reserves of Assam in northeast India have decreased drastically. Brutal laws against the poachers, strengthening of ground staff inside the protected forest areas and increasing public awareness in the fringe localities of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries across the State are the reasons cited for positively impacting the mission to save the one-horned rhinos. Officials records suggest, only two rhinos were poached in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve since 1 January 2021 till date. The last incident took place probably in the last week of December 2021, as a decomposed carcass of a fully-grown (around 30 years old) female rhino was recovered inside the world-famous forest reserve next month. As the precious horn was missing, for which the gigantic animal was apparently hunted down, it could not be a natural death. Ironically, however, it was not confirmed when

Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

By Our Representative  Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was "no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence." Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Addressed by family members of the political prisoners, academics, as well as social activists, it was highlighted how cases were sought to be fabricated against progressive individuals, democratic activists and intellectuals, who spoke out against "corporate loot of Indian resources, suppression of basic democratic

Kerala natural rubber producers 'squeezed', attend to their plight: Govt of India told

By Rosamma Thomas   Babu Joseph, general secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies (NFRPS) at a recent discussion at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, explained that it is high time the Union government paid greater heed to the troubles plaguing the rubber production sector in India – rubber is a strategic product, important for the military establishment and for industry, since natural rubber is still used in the manufacture of tyres for large vehicles and aeroplanes. Synthetic rubber is now quite widespread, but styrene, which is used in making synthetic rubber and plastics, and also butadiene, another major constituent of synthetic rubber, are both hazardous. Prolonged exposure to these even in recycled rubber can cause neurological damage. Kerala produces the bulk of India’s natural rubber. In 2019-20, Kerala’s share in the national production of rubber was over 74%. Over 20% of the gross cropped area in the state is under rubber cultivation, with total

Lack of welfare schemes, BSF curbs force West Bengal farmers to migrate far away

Counteview Desk  In a representation to the National Human Rights Commission chairperson, a senior West Bengal based activist has complained that villagers living near the border with Bangladesh are forced to migrate to as far away as Mumbai and Kerala because of lack of government sensitivity towards their welfare in original villages. Giving specific instances, Kirity Roy, secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), said, if the Border Security Force (BSF) had not put any restriction on agricultural activities, and if villages had properly implemented welfare schemes, these people would never migrate to other States. Text: I want to attract your immediate attention to the inhumane condition of the migrated workers of Gobra village, Swarupnagar Block in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal to seek your urgent intervention to protect the rights of these people. Gobra is a village situated near the Indo-Bangladesh Border where the border fencing is about 500 meters i

Bangladesh 'rights violations': US softens stance, fears increased clout of China, India

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*  In December 2021, in addition to the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the United States imposed sanctions on seven former and current officers of the force, alleging serious human rights violations. Benazir Ahmed and former RAB-7 commander Miftah Uddin Ahmed were banned from entering the US. RAB as an institution was also canceled the support it was getting from the US and its allies. At the same time, those under the ban have been notified of confiscation of assets held abroad. The anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, RAB is the elite force consisting of members of the Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Civil Service and Bangladesh Ansar, and has been criticized by rights groups for its use of extrajudicial killings and is accused of forced disappearances. The government of Bangladesh has been insisting about lifting the ban on RAB, but the US had till recen