Frame-up cry in court, Arabul head bowed

Calcutta, Jan. 17: When the assistant public prosecutor of Baruipur court sent Arabul Islam to five days' police custody today, some Trinamul supporters present in the corridor muttered: "Arabulda ke phansano holo (Arabulda has been framed)."

Outside, around 700 Trinamul supporters thronging the Baruipur subdivisional court compound shouted: "Arabul Islam zindabad, Trinamul Congress zindabad."

About 15 minutes after the verdict, Arabul, accused of assaulting CPM leader Abdur Rezzak Mollah in Bhangar on January 6, was led out of the courtroom by police.

Nearly 100 policemen and Rapid Action Force jawans kept the Trinamul supporters at bay while Arabul was taken to a Tata Sumo with tinted glass windowpanes rolled up. The car was standing near the court lock-up gate. The police team was led by additional superintendent K.P. Barui and DSP (crime) Salil Bhattacharya.

Arabul walked out with a straight face. He lowered his head to enter the Sumo amid slogans.

Policemen had a trying time controlling the Trinamul workers. "We had to push the party workers away to make way for the car," an officer said.

The officer said the Trinamul leader was taken to Sonarpur police station for interrogation. "Arabul was not taken to Calcutta Leather Complex police station because of fears of demonstrations by his followers as it is his stronghold."

Police sources said that even though Arabul was taken to Baruipur subdivisional court soon after his arrest at 12.30pm, he could not be produced because the cops had forgotten to take him to a doctor for a medical check-up.

"Soon after we reached the court around 2pm, we realised that Arabul had not undergone the mandatory medical check-up. So we hurriedly took him to Baruipur subdivisional hospital," the officer said.

Arabul was brought to the court for the second time around 4pm amid tight security. By then, 500-odd Trinamul supporters and workers had assembled in the compound.

As soon as the Trinamul workers saw Arabul getting off the police vehicle, they started shouting in protest.

"Arabul tomake phansiye dilo. Amra tomar sathe achhi (Arabul you have been framed. We are with you)," the supporters shouted in unison.

Arabul did not respond. He entered the court with a bowed head. He was put in the court lock-up and was not brought to the courtroom during the hearing.

Some of the party supporters became aggressive while waiting for the verdict. "Amra dekhe nebo. Amra ei arrest mene nebona (We will do what we can. We will not accept this arrest)," a party worker said.

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