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West Bengal: Ally ire on strict law

Posted by Admin on October 7, 2009

Ally ire on strict law
OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Calcutta, Oct. 6: The Left partners of the CPM today questioned the government’s move to slap the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act on Chhatradhar Mahato and two Maoist “sympathisers” without consulting the cabinet core committee.

“The Left Front had decided in the presence of Buddha (chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee) that use of the central law would not be indiscriminate and the decision would be taken at the core committee of the state cabinet. I will ask Buddha in the next front meeting why he changed the decision,’’ Forward Bloc veteran Asoke Ghosh said.

CPI leader Nandagopal Bhattacharjee said: “I feel that a core committee meeting must be called immediately to discuss the issues related to the use of the act in the state.’’

The core committee has as its members senior ministers from the CPM ally parties.

Most of the Left partners are opposed to the UAPA but they differ on its use against Mahato. “We will oppose the use of the UAPA against those involved in democratic movements as it is against the Left Front’s policy. I would like to know first from the chief minister what led the government to slap the law on Mahato,’’ Ghosh said.

Nandagopal Bhattacharjee, who is the water resources minister, was “happy” with Mahato’s arrest but was against charging him and others under the UAPA because of his party’s “opposition” to the central law.

The Socialist Party’s Kiranmoy Nanda defended the arrest of Mahato under the act. “I had opposed the UAPA in the earlier front meeting. But Chhatradhar’s case is different and I don’t find anything wrong in his arrest under the act against the backdrop of incidents in Lalgarh,’’ the fisheries minister said.

Human rights organisations sympathetic to the Lalgarh agitation today wrote to the chief minister demanding the release of Mahato as well as rebel “sympathisers” Prasun Chatterjee and Raja Sorkhel.

Activist Sujato Bhadra said the state government had not notified the public about implementation of the UAPA as required by the law. “People don’t know when the law was promulgated here. Neither did the state form a review or appellate body, as required by law, as a lifeline to those arrested.” TT

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