Advocates of Jorhat Bar Association (JBA) on Thursday staged a protest by wearing black badges against alleged intimidation and attempt to kidnap a lawyer by a group of criminals.
It has been alleged that the group of criminals was accompanied by a police sub-inspector in front of the Titabar Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate court on July 13, 2019.
The protest was taken out on Thursday after the JBA held an emergent meeting on Wednesday to discuss the matter.
Speaking to media persons at the JBA office in Jorhat on Thursday, JBA secretary Dip Ranjan Gogoi and other advocates alleged that advocate Dipak Prasad had gone to file bail petitions for two of his clients arrested by police in a case registered at the Mariani Police Station.
“But the advocate was forcibly stopped by four men and a police sub-inspector identified as Jyoti Prasad Das in front of the gate of the sub-divisional judicial court in Titabar,” JBA secretary Gogoi said.
Prasad too was present during the addressing of the media persons by the JBA president and his colleagues.
“Prasad, who was on his motorbike, was about to enter the court premises to file a bail plea for his clients, Nizam Ahmed and Nazra Ahmed, a woman – who were to be produced in the court on that particular day when he was waylaid by a Maruti van,” Gogoi alleged.
“A group of four persons along with sub-inspector Das in uniform emerged out of the vehicle and forcibly stopped Prasad,” said Gogoi.
The group reportedly questioned Prasad about the whereabouts of another accused Asif Ahmed, who was another client of Prasad, in the case in which the two persons Nizam and Nazra were arrested.
The group also reportedly asked Prasad to withdraw from the said case.
Prasad had told the group that he was a lawyer and showed his identity card and said that as per provisions of the law (Indian Evidence Act) the communications between an advocate and his client or his client’s whereabouts could not be asked.
Gogoi alleged that after Prasad’s refusal to talk about his third client, the group of men along with Das, who was the investigating officer of the particular case, snatched the bail plea papers and vakalatnama and tore apart the documents and tried to drag the lawyer (Prasad) towards the van and abduct him.
Gogoi said as Prasad resisted the kidnap bid and shouted for help, the group of men then left him and fled in the van.
Subsequently, Prasad informed about the incident to the Titabar SDJM court and then lodged an FIR in the Titabar Police Station about the incident accusing Das and four other persons of threatening him, attempting to abduct him and obstructing in discharging his professional duty.
A case (No.252/2019) was registered in the Titabar Police Station on the basis of Prasad’s complaint under Sections 365, 511, and 34 of the IPC.
Later the names of the four accused after being identified from various sources, Prasad added to his FIR and they were found to be complainants against the two clients of Prasad earlier arrested by Mariani Police.
Accusing the district police authorities, who were verbally informed about the incident of turning a blind eye and instead trying to shield guilty, Gogoi said that a “false case” (No.253/19) under Sections 353, 186, 225, 500 and 211 of the IPC had been registered against Prasad at the Mariani police station on July 14, a day after Prasad lodged FIR against SI Das and the four othersfollowing lodging of an FIR by SI Das charging Prasad of causing obstruction in discharging of his ( Das) duty.
Section 500 (Defamation) slapped on Prasad by the police could not be investigated by police as per provisions of law.
Gogoi said an identification parade was held earlier this week at Mariani Police Station to identify suspected people rounded up by police who reportedly threatened Prasad.
But as Prasad stated that the people shown to him were not those who were involved in the incident, he was told by the paraded persons to point out them as involved but Prasad had refused to do so.
The JBA has demanded immediate arrest of the accused persons including SI Das and also sought suspension of the police officer and departmental disciplinary action against him.
The JBA on Thursday submitted memoranda to the Assam chief minister, Chief Justice of Gauhati HC, DGP and several top officials of the state through the Jorhat deputy commissioner’s office.