Lalgarh

Where injustice prevails, Rebellion is justice!

Archive for September, 2009

Lalgarh: Media protests West Bengal police misrepresentation

Posted by Admin on September 29, 2009

The arrest of Chhatradhar Mahato by policemen posing as journalists may have been the stuff of spy thrillers but the adventure has come in for criticism from representatives of the media, among them former editors and the globally networked International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

The elusive convener of the Maoist-backed Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee (People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities) was dramatically picked up on Saturday from a village near Lalgarh in West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district. Though officially in hiding, Mr. Mahato had been in regular contact with local journalists which fact was used by the police to trap him.

As reported by The Hindu on Sunday, policemen, pretending to be journalists from a foreign news agency, approached two local reporters, who, unaware that they were part of an undercover police mission, led them to Mr. Mahato’s hideout. The decoy reporters conducted a mock interview after which one of them whipped out his revolver and secured Mr. Mahato’s arrest.

“Deeply disturbed”

Reacting to this, the IFJ said in a statement that it was “deeply disturbed” by the implications of the operation. “The police operation in West Bengal compromises the status of journalists and spreads a pall of suspicion over the profession,” said the organisation’s Asia-Pacific Director, Jacqueline Park. Ms. Park said the IFJ was concerned that the incident would seriously impede the freedom that journalists in India enjoyed to “meet and interview all parties in an evolving situation.”

Columnists and former editors Nihal Singh and Inder Malhotra described the incident as unfortunate. Mr. Singh said it had “diminished the role and profession of journalists.”

Pointing out that Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance chief Ahmed Shah Massoud had been killed by Al-Qaeda assassins posing as news camerapersons, Mr. Singh said, “We must draw a line between professional journalism and such misrepresentation.” He argued that whatever was the objective of operation, it denigrated the profession. “After all, journalism trades in only one thing — integrity. And if that integrity is lost, it is not a good development.”

Mr. Malhotra said he found sting operations problematic and unethical, whether that involved policemen posing as journalists or journalists posing as other people. He said he did not see any public good being served by such deception. Tje Hind

Advertisements

Posted in Lalgarh | Leave a Comment »

Human Rights activists condemn Chhatradhar’s arrest

Posted by Admin on September 28, 2009

Kolkata: Human Rights activists have condemned the arrest of tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato, who has been leading an agitation against alleged police excesses in Lalgarh since last November.

"Chhatradhar has been charged with murder, kidnapping and under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act which is absolutely unethical," human rights activist and documentary film-maker Gopal Menon told an agency over phone from Bangalore.

"Chhatradhar led a tribal movement protesting against injustice by the government," Menon said.

Speaking about the incident when he was stopped from going to Lalgarh with other human rights activists after the crackdown by security forces on Maoists began there, Menon said that he had been beaten up by the police then.

Chhatradhar, chief of the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities, was arrested on Saturday near Lalgarh and remanded in police custody by a special court till October 1.

Association for Protection of Human Rights leader Sujato Bhadra referred to Mahato’s arrest from Lalgarh by the police disguised as journalists.

"The police must show identity and should be in uniform. You just cannot go in disguise and arrest somebody. This is not only unethical, but also illegal." "We are trying to work out the legal possibilities," Bhadra said.

Meanwhile, Maoist leader Kishenji told the agency that a Bharat Bandh had been called on October 3, which would be followed by an indefinite bandh in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal from October 4.

Bureau Report

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Peoples movements & Intellectuals demand the unconditional release of Chatradhar Mahato, the leader of the Lalgarh Movement

Posted by Admin on September 28, 2009

We demand the unconditional release of Chatradhar Mahato, the leader of People’s Movement

We, the undersigned individuals and various oraganisations register our strong protest against the arrest of Sri Chatradhar Mahato, the spokesperson of PCAPA by the C.I.D. sleuths on 26-09-’09. We demand the immediate the unconditional release of Chatradhar Mahato, the leader of people’s movement. We all condemn in no uncertain terms the tactics and the ways that the police arrested him. Because, first, this mode of arrest is absolutely illegal. According to the instruction of the honourable Supreme Court (In D. K. Basu Case), the police is required to wear uniform and put up identity at the time of arrest, to prepare memo of arrest to be duly signed by the arrestee, to give a copy of inspection memo to the arrestee, to inform about grounds of the arrest etc. The last one is also a constitutional right of the arrestee (Article 22). Not only that, the police had consciously violated the newly amended scetion 50A of Criminal Procedure code. Secondly, there is , therefore, no sanction in Indian law to project themselves by the police as belonging to another profession, such as Journalists and raided the area and arrest the citizen, Rather, this act should attract the relevant provision of Indian Penal Code pertaining to the offence of "imposter"

Thirdly, as the media reports, Chatradhar Mahato is accused in 20-22 criminal cases. We have strong reasons to believe that he has been falsely implicated in criminal cases as because he is a man of peoples’ struggle and has had no record of such activities . Till June 13, this year, the Election Commissioner of the state and the state government had held a number of discussions with him; during this period, at no point of time, he has been informed, let alone arrest, of existence of such cases against him. As a matter of fact, from 19 June onwards, immediately after the beginning of operation of the joint forces in Lalgarh area, the government had launched this campaign that he is wanted for a number of offences.

It is easily understood that this act of the police at behest of the state government is a clear proof of act of vengeance on the part of the government .In order to punish the leaders of the peoples’ movement in Lalgarh, the cases have falsely been framed .

We reiterate our demand that the government instead of pursuing repressive measures, must open up dialogue with PCAPA and before that, must release Chatradhar Mahato unconditionally.

We all also appeal to all journalists as well as all the forums of journalists to stand unite against such unprecedented nefarious misuse jrf and of attempt to assault over the sanctity of media profession and take appropriate legal action against the police.

Mahasweta Devi, Shankha Ghosh, Bibhash ,Tarun Sanyal Kaushik Sen, Joy Goswami, Jaya Mitra, Tarun Naskar, Dilip Chakraborty, Arpita Ghosh, Sukhendu Bhattacharya, Prasun Bhowmik, Abhi Dutta Majumdar, Sujato Bhadra & Others

Organizations:

AWBSRU
FAMA
TASAM
SWAJAN
APDR
Saha Nagarikder Muktamancha
Total Theatre
Utnao-Birbhum
Birhbum Adibasi Gaota
Brihi – Bankura
Loknadi Resource Centre
Mandra Lions Club
Shilpi Sanskritik Karmi Buhijibi Mancha
Sangrami Sramik Sangathan (Struggling Workers’ Organisation)
Majdur Kranti Parishad
PDSF
S.E.Z. Birodhi Prachar Mancha
West Bengal Govt. Employees Union (Naba Parjay)
Lalgarh Mancha


Posted by Red Barricade

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Mahato charged under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act

Posted by Admin on September 28, 2009

JHARGRAM: People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) leader Chhatradhar Mahato, who was arrested on Saturday, has been charged with
sedition and remanded in five days’ police custody. He also faces charges under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

A grim looking Mahato was produced before the Jhargram assistant chief judicial magistrate on Sunday, along with eight suspected Maoists arrested from Kantapahari and Kumarbandh on Saturday. No civilians, including journalists, were allowed into the court premises that was ringed by heavily armed securitymen.

Koushik Sinha and Prashanta Roy, counsels for the accused, claimed police had tortured Chhatradhar and the eight others so badly that they were unable to walk properly. The prosecution, however, argued that they were injured when they ‘‘fell down while trying to escape’’. Chhatradhar has been charged under various of the UAPA and is accused of raising fund for a terrorist organization, attempting to murder members of security forces and conspiring against the state to create terror. He also faces charges under IPC like sedition, waging war against the state, etc.

Some of these cases relate to ransacking and setting fire to Ramgarh police camp on June 15, and the explosions at Dalilpur and Kantapahari on Saturday, soon after his arrest. The other eight — Gorachand Hembram, Sajan Murmu, Subir Hansda, Hiralal Murmu, Baburam Kisku, Sagun Murmu, Ranjit Murmu and Sambhu Soren — have been arrested for allegedly triggering IED blasts after Mahato’s arrest. TOI

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Protest over Mahato arrest

Posted by Admin on September 28, 2009

KOLKATA: Policemen impersonating as journalists to arrest PCPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato came in for criticism from intellectuals and journalists on Sunday. Incensed with the impersonation, Press Club Kolkata shot off letters to Union home minister P Chidambaram, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, chief secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti and home secretary Ardhendu Sen, condemning the way Chhatradhar was arrested.

On Monday the day Vijaya Dashami will be observed all over the state intellectuals will sit on a dharna to condemn the arrest. They are demanding immediate release of Chhatradhar. On Sunday, a rally was taken out in support of the PCPA leader, projected as a "leader of people’s struggle".

"The way Chhatradhar Mahato was arrested is illegal. Policemen have to be in uniform and disclose their identity before arresting a person. Police cannot impersonate as other professionals and carry out their activities. There is no provision in the indian legal system for the police to do so. The Indian Constitution gives Mahato the right to know why he was being arrested. We doubt whether he had been told at all," said human rights activist Sujato Bhadra.

"Police have broken the law and should be punished for impersonation. They has violated the newly amended section of 50A of Criminal Procedure Code," Bhadra added.

Among those condemned the arrest are writer Mahasweta Devi, poet Shankha Ghosh, theatre personalities Bibhas Chakraborty, Kaushik Sen and poet Joy Goswami.

"Police claim that Chhatradhar is involved in 20-22 criminal cases. He had held meeting with state officials, chief electoral officer and even senior police officers. We suspect that he has been falsely implicated," said Bhadra.

The president of Press Club Kolkata Premananda Ghosh said the way Chhatradhar was arrested would pose problem for journalists.

"We don’t have to say anything about the arrest. But posing as journalists they have endangered our lives. They even used Press identity cards. People will lose faith in journalists. We are protesting against this," Ghosh said.

Former public prosecutor Kazi Shafiullah said that Mahato can lodge a case against police. "Legally there is nothing to stop police from doing so. But morally this is wrong. No one will talk to unknown journalists after this incident," Shafiullah said. TOI

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Mhatho’s Arrest gives Lalgarh a deserted look

Posted by Admin on September 28, 2009

Kolkata A day after Chhattradhar Mahato, leader of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) was arrested, Lalgarh wore a deserted look on Sunday with shops and business establishments closed after Maoists called a bandh in the area.

The Maoists who abducted two constables of the state armed police last night, demanding the release of Mahato, however remain untraced even as the security forces launched combing operations in various parts of the area today.

“There is no doubt that Mahato is an important leader for the Maoists. They abducted two constables last night and demanded the release of Mahato. Moreover, the Maoists have called a bandh in protest against Mahato’s arrest,” said Manoj Verma, Superintendent of Police, West Midnapore, who is leading the joint forces.

The two constables — Siteshwar Prasad Singh and Sushil Nag — were picked up when they were returning to their camp in Lalgarh aboard a public bus. A group of armed Maoists stopped the bus near Tamajhuri in Belpahari and asked the two constables to alight.

The PCAPA members later claimed that the duo had been abducted in protest against the arrest of Mahato. They also demanded his immediate release.

The bandh, meanwhile, ensured a thin attendance at various Puja pandals in and around Lalgarh with most people choosing to stay indoors. Besides, the members of the Kolkata Press Club wrote to Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee protesting against the police action in arresting Mahato, while disguised as a press reporter. They condemned the action and claimed that it is “derogatory” to the profession.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Lalgarh: Mahato Remanded to Police Custody Till Oct 1

Posted by Admin on September 27, 2009

Tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato, who was arrested yesterday near Lalgarh where he had been leading an agitation against alleged police excesses since last November, was today remanded to police custody by a special court till October 1.

The Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate also remanded eight others, arrested yesterday, to police custody till that date. The eight include persons arrested along with Mahato and those held during planting of a landmine at Katapahari.

Mahato, an alleged ally of the Maoists, was booked for three offences, including setting fire to Jhargram police outpost and torching of several other police stations.

Mahato, chief of the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities, who had evaded police arrest ever since he started the anti-police stir in Lalgarh in West Midnapore district, was caught at Pirka, near Lalgarh, while he was giving an interview to a journalist who was followed by policemen posing as TV journalists.

Mahato, who was kept in the Midnapore Police Lines after his arrest yesterday, was brought to Jhargram amid tight security this morning.

Initially, he was taken to Jhargram police station from where he was taken to the court around noon.

The police custody of a Maoist leader Pradyot Mahato, who was arrested six days ago, was today extended by a Midnapore court till October 1.

Meanwhile, two police constables, who were abducted by the rebels after Mahato’s arrest yesterday, remained untraced till date, the police said.

The constables — Sisirkanti Nag and Siddheswar Prasad Singh — were on leave and had boarded a Purulia-bound bus from Jhargram when armed men intercepted their vehicle near Tamajhuri village, eight km from Belpahari police station, last night, dragged them out and disappeared into the forest.

The PCPA today dug roads and obstructed a 30-km stretch between Midnapore and Dherua with tree logs in protest against Mahato’s arrest. They also jammed roads leading to Lalgarh at several places with uprooted trees.

The PCPA has called a two-day ‘Bangla Bandh’ starting on September 30 and the Maoists have called a ‘Bharat bandh’ on October 3 in protest against the arrest.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Let Us Raise Our Voice for Unconditional Release of Chaatradhar Mahato

Posted by Admin on September 26, 2009

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 26, 2009

14laluToday police has arrested Chaatradhar Mahato, the popular leader of People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) of Lalgarh. Police conducted an operation in disguise of journalists of Singapore TV. Shortly after engaging Mr. Mahato in a so called ‘phone in’ at Singapore TV, they arrested Mr. Mahato.

Chhatradhar Mahato has been leading the popular movement against state repression in Lalgarh since November last year. Their democratic demands attracted many people of different strata of the society and enjoyed mass-support. Actually it is the movement which has drawn in the mainstream media the issue of severe inhuman condition where people of Junglemahal including Lalgarh have to live. Condition of the people of Lalgarh after three decades of ‘leftist rule’ in West Bengal has opened the eye of the people. Arrest of Mr. Mahato can not make the end of the movement led by PCAPA.

Leading a democratic movement is not a crime in a civilized society. Rather ignoring the democratic and justified demands of the people of Lalgarh and PCAPA, the government has proved its anti-people and undemocratic character. Today, arresting Mr. Mahato, a leader of mass-movement it has once again showed its fascist face. His arrest shows that not a single progressive-democratic movement will be spared.

Let us raise our voice demanding unconditional release of Mr. Mahato.
Posted by Red Barricade

Posted in Lalgarh | Leave a Comment »

Lalgarh tribal leader Chatrodhar Mahato arrested

Posted by Admin on September 26, 2009

Date: Sat, Sep 26, 2009 at 6:45 PM
A file picture of Mr. Chatradhar Mahato, the convenor of Peoples' Committee against Police Atrocities talking to the villagers at Daintikri village near Lalgarh. Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury A file picture of Mr. Chatradhar Mahato, the convenor of Peoples’ Committee against Police Atrocities talking to the villagers at Daintikri village near Lalgarh.
KOLKATA: Elusive tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato, spearheading an agitation since November last year against alleged police atrocities at
Lalgarh in West Midnapore district, was arrested on Saturday. ( Watch Video )

Mahato, the leader of People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), was arrested from Pirka near Lalgarh when he was preparing to give an interview to a journalist, who was trailed by the police, a top police official said. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Left front ally, Forward Bloc demand dialogue with Maoists in Lalgarh

Posted by Admin on September 23, 2009

OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Calcutta, Sept. 22: Left Front ally Forward Bloc has asked the state government to hold talks with the Maoists, probably worried by the CPM mobilisation to resist the guerrilla offensive in West Midnapore.

Bloc general secretary Debabrata Biswas said: “Our reservation about the joint security operation continues as it failed to contain the Maoist insurgents. The Left Front must accept the ground reality that the Maoists had gained some local support because of our mistakes and failures. Poor tribals who had no land or right to forest produce or benefits of development have now rallied behind them.’’

“Armed clashes between the CPM and the Maoists will only take more toll on poor people on both sides. The front should call for a political solution through dialogue and the Maoists, too, must come forward to take part in it,’’ he added.

Asked if the Bloc would take the initiative for a dialogue, Biswas lobbed the ball to the CPM. “Being in the leadership of the front, the CPM should take the initiative.’’

Both the CPM and the government had ruled out talks with the Maoists unless they shunned violence while the rebels wanted the withdrawal of the security forces first. TT

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »