MARGAO: While opposing the anticipatory bail application filed by Balli riot suspect Deepak Phaldessai, the crime branch alleged before the district and sessions court at Margao that the applicant had obstructed deceased United Tribals Associations Alliance (UTAA) activist Manguesh Gaonkar from escaping from the cashew factory which was engulfed in fire.
In its reply, the crime branch submitted that the 'applicant obstructed Gaonkar from escaping the burning factory which led to his death'.
The crime branch stated that the applicant was a member of the group that formed an unlawful assembly at Balli. There is evidence on record that the applicant was seen carrying stones near the cashew factory, the crime branch stated, while also pointing out that the applicant had failed to appear before it for investigation when he was summoned on May 30.
Referring to a statement of an UTAA member, who was hospitalized due to injuries sustained during the incident, the crime branch stated that the mob was led by Prashant Phaldessai (another suspect) to the cashew factory and that the applicant was pelting stones on the building.
Seeking his interrogation, the crime branch stated that the applicant is required in custody in order to know the names of other persons who were part of the unlawful assembly.
While pointing out that a pet bottle containing liquid, suspected to be petrol, was also found at the factory premises, the crime branch has stated that the applicant's interrogation will also throw light on this piece of evidence.
"In view of the conduct of the applicant to absenting himself from the investigation indicates the likelihood of the applicant to tamper with evidence and influence witnesses. Therefore, his anticipatory bail plea should be rejected and he should be asked to join the investigation," the crime branch has stated.
The case is likely to come up for hearing on June 2 as applicant's lawyer sought more time. It may be recalled that PI Santosh Dessai had registered a complaint against two suspects for rioting and murder in the case.   The UTAA-led agitation turned violent claiming the lives of two of its activists. Subsequently, chief minister Digambar Kamat suspended South Goa collector G P Naik and also ordered a judicial probe in the matter.


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