Kolkata, March 9: Arrested Trinamool Congress leader Mohammad Iqbal, a key accused in the murder of a police officer here Feb 12, was Saturday sent to CID custody till March 20 by a city court.
“Iqbal has been remanded to the custody of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) till March 20,” Iqbal’s counsel Ashok Mukherjee said.
Mukherjee seeking Iqbal’s bail contended that the councillor’s name was not there in the first information report and and he had no motive to kill the police officer.
On the other hand, the prosecution sought 14 days’ CID custody.
After hearing both parties, the court of chief judicial magistrate (Alipore) remanded Iqbal to custody till March 20.
There was tension in the court premises as over 200 supporters of Iqbal shouted slogans and staged demonstration as the Trinamool Congress leader was produced before the court amid tight security.
The administration had to deploy Rapid Action Force 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.
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 asked him to come following a clash between student activists.
Iqbal, arrested from Bihar’s Dehri-on-Sone Thursday, was brought to the city under heavy security and whisked away to the CID headquarters.
On the run after the Feb 12 incident, Iqbal claimed that he was asked by his party leaders to evade arrest.
Iqbal, charged with rioting, attempt to murder and 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 also the 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.