Kolkata, March 9: Arrested Trinamool Congress leader Mohammad Iqbal, a key accused in the murder of a police officer here Feb 12, was Saturday produced before a city court amid tight security.
The court has reserved its decision on granting him bail. While the prosecution sought 14 days criminal investigation department (CID) custody, Iqbal’s counsel prayed for grant of bail contending that he was “innocent”.
There was tension in the court premises as over 200 supporters of Iqbal shouted slogans and staged demonstration in the court complex as the Trinamool Congress was produced before the court amid tight security.
The administration had to deploy Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel to rein in the demonstrators after they tried to block the vehicle in which Iqbal was being escorted out of the court after the hearing.
Meanwhile Iqbal’s daughter Saba said her father was a victim of political conspiracy hatched by the opposition.
“Does my father look like a murderer? Ask his supporters they will vouch for his integrity. He has been framed. It is a political conspiracy hatched by the opposition and the media,” said Saba who was leading the demonstrations in the court premises.
Saba however, admitted that his father was present at the place of the incident Feb 12 and went to spot after a fellow Trinamool councillor had asked him to come following a clash between student activists.
Iqbal who was arrested from Bihar’s Dehri-on-Sone Thursday was brought to the city under heavy security Saturday morning and whisked away to the CID headquarters Bhavani Bhavan.
On the run after the Feb 12 incident, Iqbal claimed that he was asked by his party leaders to evade arrest.
Iqbal, who has been charged with rioting and attempt to murder, was arrested 23 days after special branch officer Tapas Chowdhury was shot dead in broad daylight in the city’s Garden Reach area during a clash between student activists.
Chowdhury was killed while he was trying to control clashing Trinamool Congress and Congress students at the Harimohan Ghosh College.
The Trinamool councillor and chief of the borough committee was seen at the spot of the incident, threatening a policeman and mobilising his supporters.
Video footage aired by television channels showed Iqbal standing beside Sheikh Subhaan, the man who was caught on TV firing the bullet that allegedly killed the policeman.
The violence had erupted over the issue of picking up nomination forms for the students’ union polls.
Twelve people, including Subhaan, an aide of Iqbal, are currently behind bars for their role in the violence.