BHUBANESWAR: Even as the hunger strike launched by dreaded Maoist Dunna Keshava Rao alias Azad entered the sixth day on Monday, his lawyer claimed that he was the victim of a plot hatched by Andhra Pradesh Police and their Odisha counterparts.
The trial of Rao has been delayed as the Odisha police has failed to produce any witness against him nor filed a chargesheet in the last five years, Azad’s lawyer Dilli Rao said. Azad’s counsel had earlier filed a petition in the Orissa High Court seeking expedition of trial.
On the other hand, with health conditions of Azad and four other inmates deteriorating, the Odisha Human Rights Commission has served a notice on the Prisons Department to settle the matter.
ADG (Prisons) Arun Ray said the authorities are closely monitoring the situation. “We have asked prison doctors to check vital parameters of the protesting inmates frequently. We expect an early resolution,” Ray said.
Two of the seven under-trial prisoners, who were on hunger strike, started eating on Sunday night while others are on saline drips. While the Commissionerate of Police had provided escort for production of the seven in Bhubaneswar SDJM’s court on the day, the five inmates could not move out of jail due to their medical condition.
“As the doctors advised them not to travel, only two prisoners who broke their fast were produced in the court,” Jail Superintendent RN Swain said.
Besides, Azad was allowed to meet his counsel and mother on the day.