Kolkata At 72, Gaur Chakraborty may have served in many outfits, but his ultra-left leanings are still as firm as they were in his student days. Today, as he takes on the Communist parties he has been associated with in the past, there is a note of disillusionment in the voice of the man who has been arrested for playing a spokesperson for the CPI(Maoist), which has just been banned by the Centre.
“This is the beginning of Fascist activities of the Left Front government,” Gaur said as he was being taken from Bankshal Court to Kolkata Police headquarters.
Gaur’s wife Mukta Keshi, who was present at the court premises on Wednesday, was at pains to point out his husband’s sympathies to the Maoist cause. “Gaur has believed in Communist-Maoist ideology since his student days,” she said.
Sources in the state intelligence say Gaur had been closely involved with CPI(ML) People’s War Group, popularly known as PWG, which emerged as an extremist force in Andhra Pradesh in the early 90s. PWG was banned in December 2001 after Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance was promulgated by the Centre, which later became the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) before being allowed to lapse.
Police arrested Gaur in March 2005 from his residence at Madanpur in North 24-Parganas for his links with Maoist outfits. After being booked on charges of criminal conspiracy, killing and plotting of landmine blast in West Midnapore and Purulia, Gaur was jailed at Midnapore and Purulia for more than a year and later released on bail. The charge-sheet in the case has been filed and the case is still pending, says Mukta.
According to her, Gaur, who once worked as a hawker in trains, was associated with the CPI before 1967. He later joined the CPI(ML). “Gaur used to hawk in local trains for a living and was also an active member of the hawkers union led by Left parties.
A close associate of Gaur said even after the Naxalite movement crumbled in early 70’s in West Bengal, he maintained his contacts with Naxal leaders and later joined CPI-ML (Party Unity), a breakaway organisation of the Naxals.
In 1998, CPI-ML (Party Unity) merged with the PWG. In 1998-99, when the PWG was active in West Midnapore and Bankura, Gaur had visited Belpahari and Lalgarh.
In September 2004, PWG and MCC(I) merged to form the CPI(Maoist). Gaur was picked up in March 2005 for his links with the CPI(Maoist) and sent to jail. After his release from jail, Chakraborty joined Ganapratirodh Mancha, an arm of the RDF, an ultra-left outfit, and became its state committee member in 2006.
On December 14, 2008, Gaur announced his new identity as a spokesman of CPI(Maoist) and quit the Ganapratirodh Mancha. Till his arrest on June 23, he maintained he was not a member of CPI(Maoist), but merely a hired spokesperson and that was never involved in killings or violence.