11 undertrial Maoists launch fast-unto-death inside Odisha jail

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhanjanagar, May 7:

As many as 11 undertrial prisoners lodged at Bhanjanagar special sub jail in Odisha’s Ganjam district on Wednesday resorted to a fast unto death seeking speedy trial of their cases.

File Pic
File Pic

The tribals lodged in the jail in Maoist-related cases petitioned the Bhanjanagar additional district sessions judge on Wednesday to expedite the hearings in the cases against them and release them on bail.

According to sources, these eleven inmates of the Bhanjanagar jail, who were shifted from Brahmapur jail, have been behind the bars for between two to four years.

They alleged that they are languishing in the jail as the cases are dragging on due to non-appearance of witnesses. Besides, the court is not granting them bail. Neither the police nor the court is taking stringent measures to make the witnesses appear before the court, they alleged.

Citing OJM leader Sangram Mohanty’s bail approval, advisor of Campaign Against Fabricated Cases (CAFC), Odisha, lawyer Bishwapriya Kanungo said, “They are lodged in similar cases; still they are not granted bail. Sangram Mohanty has been awarded bail by High Court and Supreme Court. While several accused lodged in Paralakhemundi and Phulbani jails have been acquitted, the undertrials in Bhanjanagar are incarcerated due to lax judicial system.”

“We extend our full support for the rights of these undertrial prisoners and seek the details of the cases against them. In addition to this, we demand disposal of cases expeditiously and grant of bail to them as they cases are getting delayed,” the convenor of CAFC Narendra Mohanty said.

The undertrials have been identified as Bikram Mallick, Abela Gamango, Kandra Dalabehera, Siladitya Singh, Kadam Bijali, Telem Soni, Malati Majhi, K Anita Majhi, Nirakara Nayak, Dhoba Digal and Sudarshan Mandal.

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