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Kolkata intellectuals raise voice against tribal leader’s arrest

Posted by Admin on October 3, 2009

19june27r copy LalgarhmKolkata, Oct 2 (IANS) A section of city intellectuals Friday voiced their concern over the arrest of tribal leader Chatradhar Mahato and questioned the transparency of the West Bengal government over the issue.

‘The state machinery can arrest people but there should be transparency in the process. The government just cannot add a Maoist link to any democratic movement and arrest anybody,’ said Kaushik Sen, a prominent Bengali theatre personality.

The intellectuals, who have been stridently opposing West Bengal’s ruling Left Front under the banner of Swajan, alleged that the state government’s approach was conspiratorial.

‘The police can arrest Chatradhar Mahato for any reason but we have to see under what law they are booking that person,’ said Bibhas Chakraborty, a veteran Bengali theatre personality and member of Swajan.

Posing as journalists, police arrested Mahato, leader of People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), on Sep 26 from Birka near the headquarters of the trouble-torn Lalgarh block in West Midnapore district.

Two police officers, posing as journalists, went to an area where Mahato had agreed to give an interview to a select group of mediapersons and pounced on him at an opportune time.

Lalgarh has been on the boil since November when a landmine exploded on the route of the convoy of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and then central ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitin Prasada.

Complaining of police atrocities after the blast, angry tribals backed by Maoists launched an agitation, virtually cutting off the area from the rest of West Midnapore district.

As violence continued, the central paramilitary forces and state police launched an operation against the rebels, but the Maoists have been gunning down leaders and activists of the Left Front major Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and tribals whom they dub as police informants.

Maoists are active in areas under 21 police stations in the state’s three western districts – West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia. Track

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