Lalgarh: 8 months after ‘arrest’, Raju and Jaydeb produced before Jhargram court
Posted by Admin on August 24, 2010
Raju’s wife Kanika (top) and mother-in-law at their Jirapara home on Friday. (Picture by Samir Mondal)
Midnapore, Aug. 22: West Midnapore police have been accused of arresting two alleged Maoists from Lalgarh and holding on to them for eight months before producing them in a Jhargram court on Friday.
The district police, however, have denied that it was they who arrested Raju Adak and Jaydeb Bera, who had disappeared from Lalgarh in December. Officers claimed the duo were brought to Bengal from Jharkhand police’s custody.
West Midnapore superintendent of police (SP) Manoj Verma said his force learnt a week ago that the two youths, whom they had been looking for, were in a jail in Ghatshila, Jharkhand.
But Kanika and Anjali, the wives of Raju and Jaydeb, claimed that district policemen had dragged both men out of their beds on the night of December 6 and arrested them.
“It was around 1am and we were sleeping. I heard a knock on the door. When I opened the door, I saw armed policemen had surrounded our house. They dragged my husband out of the house. I asked them why they were taking him away but they refused to answer,” Kanika, a resident of Jirapara village, said yesterday.
She said the police then went to her sister Anjali’s home in neighbouring Dharampur. “They picked up her husband (Jaydeb).”
Anjali said the police took Jaydeb away even though he told them he would go to Lalgarh police station the next morning.
Kanika and Anjali went to Lalgarh police station the next morning. “An officer told us the police would release our husbands after interrogation. We came back home but our husbands did not return. When we went to the police station again, officers told us they had not picked up anybody by the name of Raju Adak or Jaydeb Bera,” Anjali said.
The issue of the names had cropped up on Friday itself when the police identified the duo as Prasanta Mandal and Jhantu Das in court. After the defence lawyer protested, the police said the accused had given these false names to the Jharkhand police.
After the police rebuff, Anjali and Kanika had met the then subdivisional officer of Jhargram, P. Ulganathan, on December 9. The SDO sought a report from the Lalgarh police, who told him they had not arrested Raju or Jaydeb.
“Anjali and I went to Lalgarh police station several times but were not allowed in,” Kanika said.
SP Verma said Raju and Jaydeb were “hardcore Maoists” and, after his force learnt they were in Jharkhand, “we sought a transit remand and produced them in the Jhargram court”.
The Maoist-backed People’s Committee had accused the police of killing the two youths in a fake encounter.