Agartala: A court in West Tripura district on Thursday granted bail to seven CPI(M) leaders, including Deputy Leader of Opposition in the assembly Badal Chowdhury, in a case of breach of COVID-19 norms during a political rally in September 2020.

Former transport minister Manik Dey and ex-MP Shankar Prasad Dutta are among the seven CPI(M) leaders who were granted bail by Judicial Magistrate (first class) Dorothy Jamatia, Assistant Public Prosecutor Bidyut Sutradhar said.

“The accused leaders held a protest rally at Paradise Chowmuhani in Agartala, violating COVID-19 restrictions during the pandemic. They declined to cooperate with the police when they were asked to vacate the spot,” Sutradhar said.

The court summoned the accused CPI(M) leaders and granted bail to them when they appeared before it.

“We held a demonstration on September 25, 2020, demanding basic amenities for people. We didn’t violate any law. The government failed to provide the basic needs of residents and they are put behind bars if they voice their protest. This is anarchy,” Dey said.

Claiming that the cases filed against them are “false”, he said the BJP-led government is trying to harass the opposition party leaders.

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