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Patkar tries to enter Lalgarh, arrested

Source: PTI
July 03, 2009 17:40 IST
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Human Rights activists, including Medha Patkar and documentary film-maker Gopal Menon, were arrested in Debra, West Bengal, on Friday for defying prohibitory orders and trying to enter Lalgarh where security forces are carrying out operations against Maoists.

Menon and some media persons were also beaten up, some activists alleged.

The activists were arrested under Sections 151 and Sections 188 of the CrPC at Debra, 35 km from Midnapore town, as they were trying to enter Lalgarh where prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC are in force, police said.

"I vomited thrice. Doctors fear I might have suffered some internal haemorrhage and they have referred me to a hospital in Kolkata," Menon, a national award winner, told PTI.

Patkar told PTI they had stopped at Debra, which is nearly 80 km away from Lalgarh.

"There is no justification in stopping us here," she said.

Police said a total of 11 persons have been arrested.

"The police not only arrested us, but also beat up some of our members mercilessly. We have not come here to break the law. Why is the police stopping us from moving freely in an independent democratic country," Patkar sought to know.

She said the police had asked them to accept a conditional bail, but they refused.

West Midnapore District Magistrate Narayan Swarup Nigam said he is looking into the matter.

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