Nice-baiter Abraham arrested

RTI activist files for bail; matter to come up in court for hearing today

Social activist T J Abraham, who has lodged a complaint against irregularities in the Bangalore-Mysore highway project implemented by the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (Nice), was arrested and remanded in judicial custody on Thursday for failing to appear in court in an unrelated case filed in 2001.

Abraham was picked up by the police from his residence at 9.30 am on Thursday and produced before the 11th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate E Rajiv Gowda, who sent him to judicial custody till December 4.

Abraham has filed for bail and the matter is to come up for hearing on Friday. He submitted that he was always in court and would have appeared before it if he had been informed. He also claimed that he was arrested without warning.

The case filed in 2001 pertains to a scuffle between Abraham and his neighbour Rajan Chaudhury. The Banaswadi police had registered a case under Section 326 (causing grievous hurt) of the Indian Penal Code. The matter went to court in 2004 and Abraham, who was arrested then, obtained bail.

According to Abraham’s son Shashank, no summons were received by his father, even though the family had informed the court and the police about the change of their residential address. “When we checked a month ago about the status of the case in the court, we were told they could not find it. There was no intimation or summons; the police just came and took him away,” Shashank said.

Abraham was scheduled to submit his objections to the High Court on the petitions filed by Nice and Nandi Economic Corridor Enterprise challenging the decision of the Special Lokayukta Court to hand over the probe related to irregularities and large-scale acquisition of land for the execution of the Bangalore-Mysore corridor, to the Lokayukta police.

The arrest of the social activist is being seen as a premeditated move, as some employees of the Nice company were seen distributing bulky material consisting of copies of all summons and history of the case against Abraham to mediapersons on the court premises at Mayo Hall.

The police, however, denied there were ulterior motives behind the execution of a warrant at this crucial juncture and maintained that they recognised Abraham from the images put out by the media.

Abraham, who had earlier alleged that attempts were being made to dig out his past and create trouble for him, said on Thursday his arrest was expected.

“My opponents are conspiring against me to stop me from going to the High Court. The Home minister had given an assurance to the person involved to keep me away from the court. I will face it and my fight will continue,” he said.

Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha president Kodihalli Chandrashekar, who is supporting Abraham in the case against Nice, decried the move to arrest him as “our sorry state of affairs.”

He said the case was a personal complaint and Abraham would have appeared before the court had he been informed. “There is some pressure behind it. Two days in jail will not change anything. We will continue to fight,” he said.

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