The 68-year old rebel, Kobad Ghandy, who had served as the Central Committee member of the outlawed Maoist Party, has been released from Visakhapatnam Central jail on Tuesday. He was incarcerated for around eights years since his arrest from Delhi in 2009.
According to jail sources, he immediately left for Mumbai, his native place, after his release.
He secured bail in multiple cases that were pending against him in various cities, including Visakhapatnam. In June 2016, a Delhi court had acquitted him of charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Indian Penal Code.
“None of the evidence relied upon by the prosecution has been found to be admissible in evidence by the court. The testimonies of the prosecution witnesses suffer from infirmities,” the court said. “In the facts and circumstances of this case, there are reasonable doubts on the version of the prosecution on charges under Sections 20 (punishment for being member of terrorist gang or organisation) and 38 (offence relating to membership of a terrorist organisation) of the UAPA,” the judge said. He, however, continued to remain in prison as proceedings in some other cases lodged against him were pending.”
Police had charged him with liasing with revolutionary parties in Germany, Turkey, Philippines, Belgium, Peru and Nepal, and he was also charged under the Explosive Substances Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
In Andhra Pradesh, Ghandy has also been facing trial in the murder of former AP Assembly speaker Duddilla Sripada Rao. And he was also an accused in the 2008 conspiracy case related to the attack on the elite anti-Naxal Greyhounds unit and members of the state police involved in combing operations.
He was married to Anuradha Shanbag, a member of CPI (Maoist) and a revolutionary ideologue. Anuradha died of cerebral malaria in 2008. Ghandy, who used several alias like Aravind, Saleem, Kamal and Azad, was in-charge of the South Western Regional Bureau (SWRB) coordinating the Maoist activity in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra. According to a report, while studying in London he ‘first saw Marxist groups fighting racism and got attracted to the ideology’, and after returning to India he began ‘working with tribals and the rural poor’.