CPI-Maoist leader Arnab Dam finally released 53 days after he was granted bail in Silda case

He was granted bail on April 11. But it took over 50 days for him to finally come out of jail for CPI (Maoist) leader Arnab Dam. He was finally released from Hooghly district correctional home on Monday night. Dam – who cleared the State Level Eligibility Test (SLET) from prison – will now stay at his house in Subhasgram in the city’s outskirts.

There were 31 cases filed against him, out of which he was granted bail in 30 already. The Silda case – in which he was accused of carrying out an attack in the Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR) camp in Jhargram remained the only case where he had not been granted bail. A Kolkata High Court bench led by Justice Joymalya Bagchi has granted CPI-Maoist leader Arnab Dam alias Bikram bail on April 11. The court also criticised the police for their role in the investigation. The incident took place in 2009 in West Midnapore’s Silda at an ERF camp, and a decade has passed since then.

However, even after that, it was tough to meet the conditions of the bail. Lawyers had gone on strike and the formalities took a lot of time to be cleared. Finally, the formalities have now been cleared.

According to the bail conditions, Arnab Dam cannot leave his house in the Sonarpur area of South 24 Parganas district, and must appear in the police station from time to time.

Dam has recently created history by clearing the SLET from prison. He was arrested from Asansol in 2012, and has since been lodged in prison. Earlier he was in Presidency Central Jail of Kolkata and later shifted to Hooghly. Dam, an IIT dropout, has cleared various examinations, and finally cleared SLET, and has selected his subject for doctoral research, on environmental history.

Regularly engaged with the education of other inmates of Presidency Jail, Arnab Dam earned Rs.80 everyday for the work he put in. With this money, he cleared the fees of the lawyers handling his cases in court.

However, once shifted to the Hooghly correctional home, his income stopped. Recently during his court hearing at Midnapore, Arnab asked his lawyer not to speak for him as he had no money to pay. Now, however, he is free to do his research work.

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