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

'Halt Covid-19 vaccination drive': Indian doctors join campaign across 36 nations

By Rosamma Thomas*  A group of Spanish doctors first got together to call for a halt to the Covid-19 vaccinations, and doctors from other countries too later joined them – there are now over 12,000 doctors from India, Portugal, Canada, Hungary, South Africa, Israel and a host of other nations who have issued a call to halt vaccinations. On September 10, a group of Indian doctors came together to address the press over a webinar to explain why they thought the vaccination drive should end forthwith. Dr Amitav Banerjee, who after a career as an epidemiologist in the Indian Army now teaches at a private medical college in Pune, said there was no longer a medical emergency. Children are at low risk of infection, and there is good reason to halt vaccination and conduct proper research, given the high number of adverse events. There is a sudden and poorly explained spike in the number of young and healthy people dying. While it may be impossible to attribute deaths entirely to the vaccinatio

Did Mother Teresa trivialise poverty? 'You are suffering, that means Jesus is kissing you'

By Harsh Thakor*  The world commemorated the 25th death anniversary of Mother Teresa on September 5. Whatever her flaws, she rendered service to humanity in regions almost untranscended, resembling the relentless spirit of the waves of an ocean. Irrespective of community or religion, she offered her service. Even those not drawn by sainthood revere the role of Mother Teresa. For 68 years, she had worked selflessly and tirelessly in India and elsewhere in the world, taught the destitute, healed the sick, fed and clothed the poor, cared for abandoned children, housed lepers and those afflicted with HIV/AIDS and offered dignity in death to desolate persons abandoned by family and society. Mother Teresa was born in Skopje in 1910 to an Albanian family as AnjezĂ« Gonxhe Bojaxhiu. She became wedded to religious vows at an early age and moved to India to join the missionary work of the Catholic Church. Heartshaken by the misery faced by the Indian masses, in 1950 she set up her own

Tracing roots of Hindutva Zionism: cannon fodder for 'warped' nationalist pretensions

By Shamsul Islam*  Those who believe in a world free of hegemonic ethno-nationalism, racism, religious bigotry and hatred have rightly taken note of Zionism and its ally Christian Zionism, major perpetrators of ethnic cleansing of ‘Others’. However, the civilized world with its core belief in multi-culturalism and peaceful co-existence is oblivious to a no less dangerous threat to the present human civilization: the Hindutva Zionism. As the term reads it is part of the Hindutva world-view which stands for an exclusive Hindu India minus Muslims and Christians. The other religions like Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism will have no independent status but treated as part of Hinduism. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS; National Volunteer Organization) is the most prominent flag-bearer of the Hindutva politics whose cadres presently rule India, the largest democracy in the world. RSS was founded by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar (1889-1940) in 1925 who was disillusioned with the Indian freedom st

Regional parties, anti-Congress progressives, civil society groups 'joining' Bharat Jodo

By Harshavardhan Purandare, Sandeep Pandey*  The Congress party declared Bharat Chhodo (Quit India) movement against the British regime in 1942. The Congress party has now launched a movement Bharat Jodo (Connecting and Uniting India) against the Modi regime in 2022. Indian people have had a journey of 80 years since Mahatma Gandhi gave that Quit India call to the British and we have to agree that we stand most divided in our modern history when Rahul Gandhi is giving this Bharat Jodo call to the nation. And back then, Congress was a thriving idealistic political movement against the British rulers and now it is an ever weakening political organization electorally defeated several times. However, it is India at stake, not just the Congress party. That is why so many regional political parties, civil society organizations, traditional anti-Congress progressive forces like socialists and communists, intellectuals and civil servants have declared their support and are proactively partici

Shocking? No Covid vaccine trials conducted on pregnant, lactating women: RTI reply

By Rosamma Thomas*  A Right to Information applicant who sought details of safety trials conducted in India on pregnant and lactating women for three Covid vaccines in use in India – Covishield, Covaxin and ZyCov-D -- was shocked to learn from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) that Serum Institute, manufacturer of Covishield, and Cadila Healthcare, manufacturer of the ZyCov-D vaccine, had not sought permission for such trials.  Bharat Biotech, manufacturer of Covaxin, had sought permission for trial on pregnant women and later withdrawn its application. This response , provided after the applicant was initially unsatisfied with the response and went in appeal, is from the joint drugs controller, CDSCO. It was dated September 13, 2022. One researcher closely following the vaccine rollout, however, is of the opinion that the lack of a trial on pregnant and lactating women is a blessing; potential trial participants and their unborn babies thus escaped harm. Aruna Ro

Grave error? Scholar blames ex-Gujarat babu for anti-Christian riots 'citing fake report'

By Rajiv Shah  A few days back, I received a message from one of the finest former Gujarat government bureaucrats, PG Ramrakhiani, a 1964 batch IAS official, who retired in November 2000. I would often interact with him in 1997-99, even later, after I was sent to Gandhinagar as a Times of India man to cover Sachivalaya. Those were turbulent times. Shankarsinh Vaghela was the Gujarat chief minister, under attack from two sides – from the BJP, which he had left to form a separate breakaway party, Rashtriya Janata Party (RJP), one one hand, and the Congress, which was supporting him from outside, on the other. Ramrakhiani, in his message, referred to the book authored by Ghanshyam Shah and Jan Breman, both top-notch scholars who have known Gujarat in and out. Called “Gujarat, Cradle and Harbinger of Identity Politics: India’s Injurious Frame of Communalism”, I reviewed the book in January 2022.  It claims that Muslims in Gujarat have been turned into “new untouchables”, thanks to the Hin

Excess to cheetah in Kuno to increase 'woes' of local people, 'disturb' wildlife balance

Bharat Dogra*  The release of eight cheetahs into the Kuno National Park ( Madhya Pradesh) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 17, although accompanied by a media blitz, has raised several questions. The animals were flown from Namibia to Gwalior and from there they were taken to the release site in a helicopter. Official sources have stated that this is the first time a large carnivorous species has been moved across continents for establishing a new population. This first release will be followed by others under this project. However, precisely for this reason, it is important to be cautious because if such translocations have been generally avoided in the past, there may have been reasons for this and at the same time we do not have much learning experiences from the past. The Cheetah became extinct in India in 1952, although this very fast moving animal is still remembered in the folklore of many areas. Hence the first impulse is to say that trying to introduce and revive

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".

Introducing non-native cheetahs is 'not equivalent' to restoring pride in the nation

By Bappaditya Mukhopadhyay*  The Cheetahs from the African continent has finally been introduced to India by the Indian Prime Minister on his 72nd birthday. The process had started with the previous Government in 2009. However, the Supreme Court clearance was pending owing to the objection by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) plea to reintroduce cheetahs. Finally the clearance was obtained in January 2020 and thereafter Kuno National Park (KNP) was chosen for the reintroduction of first set of Southeast African Cheetahs. In the near future, depending upon the success story of the current reintroduction, more cheetahs from South Africa may also be introduced. This exercise has generated a lot of interest among various stakeholders with opinions on both sides galore. It is important to pose some questions that surround the whole exercise. Let us evaluate some of these arguments. The first set of arguments are quite detached from the issues of conservation as they most

'Military diplomacy': US praises Bangladesh Army for leadership role in UN operations

By Kamal Uddin Mazumder* As the Indo-Pacific region represents the world’s economic and strategic center of gravity, the Indian Ocean today is becoming the centerpiece of all geo-strategic play. Cooperation in the region is crucial to implementing the international community’s global agenda, including achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Major powers like the US have enhanced and deepened their strategic engagement and leadership roles with countries in the region. The Indo-Pacific Army Management Seminar, or IPAMS, is a U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) initiated conference that is aimed at facilitating and enhancing interactions among the armies of the Indo-Pacific region. This year's 46th Indo-Pacific Armies Management Seminar (IPAMS)-2022, co-hosted by the Bangladesh Army and US Army Pacific (USARPAC), concluded in Dhaka. The objective of IPAMS is to promote peace and stability in the region through mutual understanding, dialogue, and friendship. It is the largest confer