Odisha-AP cops conspired in Azad’s arrest: Counsel

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Bhubaneswar: Even as the hunger strike launched by top Maoist leader Azad entered the sixth day on Monday, his lawyer claimed a conspiracy was hatched by the Odisha police and its Andhra Pradesh counterpart to put Azad behind bars for a long period.

“We have filed a criminal case against the police, who said that they have arrested Azad in Bhubaneswar. But the fact is that he was taken from the office of deputy superintendent of police (DSP), Palasa in the presence of the SP, local MLA and some other leaders. He was then handed over to the Odisha police. There was a conspiracy between Odisha police and the AP police,” said Azad’s lawyer Dilli Rao.

Accusing the State police of ‘deliberately’ delaying the case of Azad, Rao stated that it had failed to produce witnesses as mandated by the court of law.

“All the actions of Odisha police are against the law and against society. If the Odisha police behaves like this, they will criminalise the society. We should not allow it….(In my clients’ case) for the last one year, they have brought one witness for three months. It is quite painful that they are making no effort to expedite the trial,” he stated.

Rao challenged the police to release Azad on bail and allow him to fight his own case.

“Everybody has to follow the direction of the Supreme Court and speedy trial is a fundamental right of an accused. If you can’t do it, allow him (Azad) to go on bail and he will defend his own case. Why do you keep him in jail for several years?” asked the lawyer.

Rao also questioned the efficiency of police for unable to file a charge sheet in the last five years.

“From the day of the arrest till now, he is under judicial custody. Why the police are filing a new case after five years? What did you do in these five years? If cases are so strong against him, he must be charge sheeted. What made you wait for five years? Because you (police) fabricate cases in case of innocent people and see that they are made out to be dreaded criminal,” he rued.

When asked by media persons whether he is filing a contempt of court in his client’s case, Rao said, “We are thinking of filing a written complaint with the Orissa High Court.”

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