Bhakta das' vindication
Posted September 19, 2003
As many of you have heard, our godbrother, Bhakta das, has been held on false charges, framed by misled police officers, in Orissa for the past three years.
In the latest court hearing two days ago the arresting officer was finally in the witness box. He admitted that there was no evidence of the alleged crime having been ever actually committed by anyone; that Bhakta das' name was added to the charge later; that he (the police person) had not read the charge when the arrest was made but only when on ordered to by the court three weeks later he had it translated; that he did not know the complainants' permanent address and had no way of contacting them and that he had made no effort to keep them in the country or to have them place any bond guaranteeing their appearance at the trial as required by law.
The judge, indirectly admitted that the entire case was fabricated by at one point jokingly asking the police person: "Why did you write this book?", referring to the case file which is about 2000 pages long. The actual motive of these police officers was to extort money from "the accused".
The arresting officer was then asked why Bhakta dasa had not been arrested initially, when the 'charge' was first made and not three weeks later as was the case. He answered: "Because there was no evidence." Then he was asked "What new evidence was there when you arrested him?" He made no reply.
Examination of the arresting officer will continue next week and perhaps one or two more days after this. Then the officer who ordered the arrest will be questioned.
It is hoped and expected that Bhakta das' formal exoneration and release will be soon forthcoming. This has been a scandalous and criminally false case against a devotee who has had close pastimes with His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and we are pleased that his blamelessness is now beginning to become publicly clear.