Mr. Gopen Sharma HRD of PEOPLES WATCH from West Bengal is again Haunted
- PEOPLE'S WATCHANDHRA PRADESHFriendAll you know that Mr. Gopen Sharma, one of our activist & District Human Rights Monitor for Murshidabad district with National Project on Preventing Torture in India has faced state's wrath several times. This time again, he has been implicated in a false and fabricated charge. Most disturbing fact is police, local politicians with lower judiciary all are conniving to cholk his voice against state violators. Each and every time you have extended your helping hands in various way. This time also we are expecting that you will extend your co-operation and support for Mr. Gopen Sharma and specially for MASUM.I am attaching case detail.With solidarityKirity
Mr. Gopen Sharma
On 1st of August 2007 again a criminal case has been slapped on the District Human Rights Monitor of National Project Preventing Torture India working in Murshidabad, West Bengal, Gopen Sharma in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Baharampur. The complaint has been registered in the court in accordance with the provision under section 156 (3) of Criminal Procedure Code where the complainant is one Shanti Ranjan Mondal, son of Late Jagadish Mondal of village- Lakhinarayanpur under Jalangi police station, District: Murshidabad who filed the case against Gopen Chandra Sharma. The court sent the complaint to Jalangi Police Station for treating the complaint as an First Information Report vide memo number 634/2007 dated 01.08.2007. The case has been registered under section 420 of Indian Penal Code(I.P.C.) for committing offence of cheating. The complainant alleged that Gopen Sharma took Rupees 6000/- on 02.12.2005/6 at 10.00 a.m. (We have not received the certified copy till now, but got some definite information. The date of alleged commission of offence might be in the year 2005 or 2006). It is alleged in the complaint that Gopen Sharma assured the complainant to provide a BSNL connection for commercial purposes in lieu of the money and failed to keep his promise.
We gathered information from reliable sources and the most disturbing fact is that the case has been filed before the court and the complainant as named Mr. Shanti Ranjan Mondal was not present in the court premises at all. This case, filed in the court was the outcome of conspiracy of police officers of Jalangi Police Station, Mr Swapan Saha and Mr. Tuhin Biswas, Sub- Inspectors. They accompanied one Surya Kanta Sarkar of village- Prasnna Nagar, P.S. Jalangi, Murshidabad to the court, who happened to be one of the four witnesses of the case filed against Gopen Sharma, three other witnesses are Parimal Sarkar, Manoranjan Mondal and Raghu Mondal.
It is important to note that Surya Kanta Sarkar is an accused person of a police case vide Jalangi P.S. case number 83/07 under section 498A/ 306/34 of IPC and he was brother-in-law of Late Saptami Sarkar w/o Joyprakash Sarkar. Saptami died under mysterious circumstances in her in-laws house. The family of the victim-woman had genuine grievances against ineffective and partisan investigation of police from the very beginning. Said case was persuaded by Mr. Gopen Sharma and MASUM complained to various higher police officials and West Bengal Commission for Women for starting investigation of the said case under section 302/304B of IPC and it was particularly mentioned in the complaints that the police of Jalangi P.S. did not investigate the case properly and favoured the accused persons. Even there was strong allegation against the local police that the police did not want to register the police case at all if the name of Mira Sarkar, a constable and sister-in-law of Saptami Sarkar, since deceased was included in the complaint. Even the complaint was drafted at the instance of police and the offence allegedly committed by the husband and in-laws of the victim woman was booked under lighter penal sections. The Sub-inspector, Tuhin Biswas played a vital role in making the case light. As Gopen Sharma attracted wrath of police for his involvement with the matter. Finally, Mr. Tuhin Biswas, the Sub-inspector took active initiative in fielding the present complaint through some person against Gopen Sharma. It is a pressure tactics of the police and the police have been abusing its authority in every aspect in this case. The police has already collected the order of the court and proceeding with jet speed using the order of the court as sword.
Mr. Gulam Kibria, is the advocate who filed the case against Gopen Sharma on behalf of Shanti Ranjan Mondal.
This was not first time when the police gave effort to falsely implicate Gopen. We are corroborating previous experiences of Gopen where he had been implicated in false and fabricated cases to settle their course against Mr. Gopen Sharma.
On 8 February 2007, Gopen was visiting Kaharpara Border out post of managed by the Border Security Force (BSF) of India . The purpose of the visit was to inquire into a case of murder of Mr. Saifuddin Seikh, who was allegedly killed by the BSF 136 Battalion on 1 June 2006. The murder was reported by Gopen to Masum.
The National Human Rights Commission of India registered our complaint upon the incident and issued notice to the Home Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs; which was communicated to Masum by NHRC through their Memo No. 56845/CR/2006. It was to enquire about this incident Gopen went to the BSF out post at Kaharpara, Raninagar, Murshidabad.
However while Gopen was in Kaharpara, it was alleged that a local resident Mr. Achinto Sarkar had an argument with Gopen regarding some money which Mr. Sarkar had advanced to Gopen's friend three years back. On that Sarkar assaulted Gopen and Gopen ran into the BSF out post seeking protection. However, the BSF officers took Gopen into custody and produced him at the Raninagar police station at about 3 pm on that day.
Raninagar police registered a case against Gopen as Raninagar Police Station case no. 21/2007 under sections 420 [cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, an offense punishable with seven years of imprisonment and fine] , 468 [forgery for purpose of cheating, an offense punishable with seven years of imprisonment and fine] and 471[using as genuine a forged document, an offense punishable with two to ten years imprisonment; depending upon the type of document forged] of the Indian Penal Code upon a complaint lodged by the mother of Achinto Sarkar. Gopen spent more than a month inside the prison in connection with the said case due to such kind of fabricated charges framed by local police; ultimately he was released by the order of High Court, Calcutta .
It is crystal clear that Gopen now has become victim of wrath of lower judiciary for apparently no offence committed by him.
Incidentally Gopen Sharma was also working with a project of UNDP and Ministry of Law and Justice programme. He was collecting the name of the presiding officer of the court as part of the UNDP. To collect the name of the presiding officer from outside the court room is not found to be commission of any offence according to the law of land. Gopen got involved with a staff of the court and Gopen was asked by the court officer for the reasons of noting his name. Even after detail explanation given by him, he failed to satisfy the judge and the court ordered his arrest. Such act of the presiding officer is required to be scanned strictly under legal parameter. Later he was released from Baharampur Police station on furnishing bond after Masum interfered in the matter with the police authority.
This shameful and arrogant action of arresting a human rights activist in regular interval under false and fabricated reasons is a constant harassment to an individual that is against the normal practice of natural justice; a right guaranteed under the Constitution.
Even before that Gopen was framed in a police case in Jalangi P.S in the month of February 2005. The police obtained a complaint from his wife by misleading her and instituted police case under sections 498A/307 of IPC. The police even filed charge sheet and the case is fixed for trial. But the police failed to produce evidence. Now, 4.8.2007 has been fixed as final date for evidence by 2nd fast track court, Baharampur. The police have possibly conspiring to frame Gopen in another fake case and want to detain him in custody so that no proceeding is done on 4.8.2007 in court further delaying the matter. It is fact that Gopen lives with his wife happily.
The local police has created immense pressure on Gopen Sharma so that the misdeeds of police are not unearthed.
Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha
26 Guitendal Lane
West Bengal INDIA
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