Rights groups threaten fast for Maoists’ release

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

KOLKATA - Demanding release of recently arrested senior Maoists, including state committee secretary Sudip Chongdar alias Kanchan, and withdrawal of forces from West Bengal’s Maoist-affected districts, civil rights groups here Wednesday threatened to hold indefinite fast from Friday.

“We will stage sit-in demonstration Dec 10 at Hazra Crossing in South Kolkata, protesting against the unlawful arrest of senior Maoist leaders and atrocities committed on common people by joint forces deployed in Junglemahal,” said Krishna Banerjee, convener of Lalgarh Mancha, a civil rights organisation.

Junglemahal consists of Maoist-affected forested areas of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura districts of the state.

“We also demand suspension of prohibitory order banning assembly of more than two people imposed in several areas for a long time and allowing entry of journalists and social activists,” said Banerjee.

Talking about the alleged atrocities by the joint security forces, writer and social activist Manik Mondal said: “The joint forces regularly beat up innocent people, ransack their houses and plunder medicines and other stores.”

Mandal said most of those arrested for being ‘Maoists’ are innocent peasants.

He claimed that member of the pro-Maoist tribal Peoples’ Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) Bapi Mahto, arrested for the Gyaneshwari Express tragedy, in which 148 people lost their lives, was not involved in the crime. “I have evidence to show that Bapi is innocent and the real culprits are some other people,” he said.

Filed under: Terrorism

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