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Lalgarh: Mahato falsely implicated, Buddha told

Posted by Admin on October 7, 2009

Statesman News Service

KOLKATA, 6 OCT: In a letter to chief minister Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, members of the Coordination of Individuals and Organisations alleged that Chhatradhar Mahato has been falsely implicated in criminal cases and booked under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

They alleged that under sub-Section 4 of Section 3 of UAPA, the state government needs to float an advertisement in at least one daily newspaper regarding the implementation of UAPA. As no such advertisement was published, the government cannot book Mahato under the Act, they maintained.

They also said that that the sub-Section 5 of Section 36 of the Act clearly states that the accused can appeal before the review committee if he/she is not satisfied with the imposition of the UAPA.

The accused can further appeal before the appellate committee before moving the court, but no such review committee has been formed in the state till date, they alleged.

Magsaysay award winner Mahasweta Devi has meanwhile said the state government has brought false charges against Mahato. “The state government has actually

been trying to sell Junglemahal to big corporate houses to set up SEZ. The administration has brought false charges against Mahato to remove hurdles that appeared in its way to cut Junglemahal into pieces and sell them to industrial houses.”

Admitting that she met Mahato, the writer claimed that the PSBPC is an umbrella association of 13 tribal outfits that had joined hands to fight against state sponsored atrocities. Throwing a challenge to the state government, she said: “The PSBPC is not a Maoist outfit. The chief secretary must disclose how much money the intellectuals had given to Maoists and where the transaction had taken place.” Mr Sujato Bhadra, member of the organisation argued that helping any democratic movement is not an offence but their fundamental right. The government is attempting to prove that the PSBPC and the Maoists are the same and deeply interconnected. Actually the government is intending to malign the people’s movement in Lalgarh. Mr Bhadra also maintained that the Maoists’ organisation was banned in July this year and if any tangible evidence exists regarding the connection of Mahato and the intellectuals with Maoists before July, that does not attract any penal offence. The UAPA cannot be used in a retrospective manner as it is clearly stipulated in Section 38 of the Act. The members also alleged that both Prasun Chatterjee and Raja Sarkhel were falsely implicated under UAPA. They are planning to take legal steps against the government, but it would take some time, added Mr Bhadra.

Meanwhile, condemning the arrest of two Human Rights Activists by the state government for their alleged links with the Maoists, noted Human Rights Activist Ms Medha Patkar said that the government by doing this will only aggravate the problem.

The government has got every right to arrest a person if he or she commits a crime, but the police cannot arrest anybody because he is a believer of an ideology.
This is absolutely ridiculous,” said Ms Patkar. “The manner, in which, the chief secretary is making statements and the way they are arresting people, is not only undemocratic, but inviting problem for the state,” she added.

Gopal Menon, documentary film maker also said that the state government has gone berserk and they are trying to oppress the voice of the people to stay in power.

The Statesman

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