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Human Rights activists condemn Chhatradhar’s arrest

Posted by Admin on September 28, 2009

Kolkata: Human Rights activists have condemned the arrest of tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato, who has been leading an agitation against alleged police excesses in Lalgarh since last November.

"Chhatradhar has been charged with murder, kidnapping and under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act which is absolutely unethical," human rights activist and documentary film-maker Gopal Menon told an agency over phone from Bangalore.

"Chhatradhar led a tribal movement protesting against injustice by the government," Menon said.

Speaking about the incident when he was stopped from going to Lalgarh with other human rights activists after the crackdown by security forces on Maoists began there, Menon said that he had been beaten up by the police then.

Chhatradhar, chief of the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities, was arrested on Saturday near Lalgarh and remanded in police custody by a special court till October 1.

Association for Protection of Human Rights leader Sujato Bhadra referred to Mahato’s arrest from Lalgarh by the police disguised as journalists.

"The police must show identity and should be in uniform. You just cannot go in disguise and arrest somebody. This is not only unethical, but also illegal." "We are trying to work out the legal possibilities," Bhadra said.

Meanwhile, Maoist leader Kishenji told the agency that a Bharat Bandh had been called on October 3, which would be followed by an indefinite bandh in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal from October 4.

Bureau Report

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