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WB: Arrested Maoist leader charged with sedition

September 28, 2009 16:30 IST
Arrested Maoist-backed tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato has been charged with sedition and booked under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for raising funds for a terrorist outfit and attempting to murder police personnel.

Mahato, who has been spearheading an agitation since November last against alleged police excesses in West Midnapore's troubled Lalgarh area, was arrested on Saturday and remanded to police custody till October 1.

West Midnapore District Magistrate N S Nigam said Mahato was on Sunday booked under sections 16/B, 17, 18, 20, 38, 39 and 40 of the UAPA, which was amended in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks; for raising funds for a terrorist outfit, attempting to murder police personnel and conspiring against the state.

He has also been charged under sections 120-B, 121, 121-A and 307 of the Indian Penal Code for sedition, specific cases of arson, waging war against the state, demolition of the Ramgarh police outpost and attempts to murder, Nigam said.

Mahato, chief of the People's Committee Against Police Atrocities, was arrested at Pirka near Lalgarh when he was giving an interview to a reporter, who was trailed by policemen posing as TV journalists.

The PCAPA has, meanwhile, withdrawn the call for its proposed two-day 'Bengal bandh' which was scheduled to start on September 30.

Instead, it began an indefinite bandh on Sunday in protest against the arrest in the Maoist-influenced tribal areas of the West Midnapore district, including Lalgarh, Belpahari, Jamboni, Salboni and Binpur which are collectively called Jangalmahal.

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