HC grants conditional bail to Maoist leader

Bhubaneswar: Odisha High Court on Thursday granted conditional bail to Maoist leader Srinivas Sriramulu. Justice C R Dash granted bail to Sriramulu for a bail bond of Rs 30,000 and two sureties of the same amount.

The court also directed him to leave for Andhra Pradesh from Odisha within 24 hours of release.

The HC also laid conditions that he would appear before court when summoned. Besides, he would cooperate in investigations and won’t participate in any activities conducted by outlawed groups. During his travel to Odisha to face any trial, he must be escorted to Odisha border by Andhra police and leave the state under their cover, the judge said.

The top Maoist leader was lodged in Malkangiri jail since 2005. He was acquitted in six cases registered in various police stations in the district.

The court was told that despite being acquitted in several cases, he has been falsely implicated in another case.

Citing Supreme Court’s verdict on release of Dr Binayak Sen, Sriramulu’s lawyer contested that belief in specific ideology does not denote offense.

Sriramulu had moved High Court after lower court rejected his bail plea.

The government counsel, however, argued that Sriramulu should not be granted bail as he is an influential Maoist leader.

After hearing the arguments, the HC granted bail in favor of the jailed ultra.