The High Court on Sunday granted bail to 33 Santals for eight weeks in a case filed over attacking police during an eviction drive in Gaibandha's Gobindaganj on November 6.
The bench comprising Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice JBM Hassan issued the order when the Santals appeared before the court and sought bail, UNB reported.
The case was filed against 42 Santal men by Gobindaganj police Sub-Inspector Kalyan Kumar Chakraborty following the clash between Santals and police, RAB and some local Bangalis, most of whom are loyal to the local ruling party lawmaker.
Three Santal men were killed in the clashes and at least 30 people, including nine policemen, were injured. According to the indigenous leaders, some 2,000 families of 15 villages were evicted from their ancestral land at Shahebganj-Bagda farm area. The houses were also looted and torched by the Bangalis.
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Earlier, two of the injured Santal men, shown arrested in the case while they were being treated in hospital, were granted permanent bail by a Gaibandha court on November 17.
Evicted Santals given paddy
Meanwhile, the Rangpur Sugar Mill authorities on Sunday handed 144 sacks of paddy over the evicted Santals, each sack carrying two maunds of paddy that was sown by the indigenous people, the mill's Managing Director Abdul Awal told our Gaibandha correspondent Md Tazul Islam.
Earlier, representatives of the evicted Santals were given 26 sacks on Thursday, 56 sacks on Friday and 67 sacks on Saturday – in line with the High Court order.
Also Read- Authorities harvest paddy for evicted Santals
On November 17, the High Court ordered the sugar mill authorities and the local administration to either allow the Santals to harvest their paddy or give it to them after harvesting the paddy they had sown. The local UNO said the Santals had sown paddy in 18.41 hectares (45.5 acres) of land.
Until Sunday, the mill authorities harvested paddy of around 13.35 hectares of land.
The Santal community leaders earlier said that they had sown paddy in 54.63 hectares of land.
Even though many evicted families have already left the area in search of new destination, some 150 families are still staying in tents and an abandoned school building in front of the Madarpur church.