Raja Sorkhel (top) and Prasun Chatterjee while being brought to the Jhargram court. (PTI)
Oct. 6: Police cracked down on Maoist “sympathisers” in the city today, arresting the owner of a press that printed a banned rebel magazine as well as its publisher.
The police said they found books and leaflets on Maoists in the Calcutta Graphics press in the Manicktala Industrial Estate. The press prints the People’s March magazine, a banned publication.
The police claimed they found a copy of the magazine in the house of Raja Sorkhel, an alleged Maoist sympathiser who was arrested yesterday in the city along with Prasun Chatterjee.
Sorkhel, 46, and Chatterjee, 34, run an outfit called the Ganatantrik Adhikar Manch.
Four others were also detained tonight when the owner of the press, Sadananda Singha, and the publisher of People’s March, Swapan Dasgupta, were arrested. Dasgupta stays in Paschim Balia, Garia.
The police also detained Bhanu Sarkar and Ramesh Das, members of an organisation called Bandi Mukti Committee. They were picked up from College Street.
Chatterjee and Sorkhel were arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Today, they were remanded in police custody for 14 days by a Jhargram court.
Public prosecutor Suman Das Mahapatra said the two had been charged under seven sections of the UAPA for terrorist activity, raising funds for terror activity, conspiracy for terror activity, offence relating to membership in a terror organisation and supporting such an organisation.
They have also been charged under IPC sections for attempt to murder, waging a war against the state, sedition, conspiracy against the state as well as the Explosives Substances Act.
Mahapatra claimed that on September 26, the day Chhatradhar Mahato was arrested, the Maoists tried to trigger a blast in Lalgarh when security forces were returning after patrolling. He said Chatterjee and Sorkhel had planned the blasts. “They were arrested following the interrogation of Chhatradhar Mahato, Sukhshanti Baskey (a treasurer of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities) and three others,” said the public prosecutor.
In Calcutta, CID officials said investigations had revealed that Chatterjee and Sorkhel had collected and given Rs 1.5 lakh to the tribal committee. “The committee is supported and guided by the Maoists,” an officer said. “So providing funds to the committee amounts to funding the Maoists. They organised medical camps for Maoists in Lalgarh.”
“Chhatradhar said the meetings in Lalgarh — on funds collection — had representatives from three sections: the Maoists, the people’s committee and some Calcutta- based organisations like the Manch,” another officer said. TT