Saturday, October 10, 2009

Chhatradhar Mahato gets jail custody

Midnapore: A local court on Saturday rejected the police plea for further remand for PCPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato, arrested on the charge of having Maoist links, and ordered jail custody till October 23.

Assistant Chief Judicial Magistrate(acting) of Jhargram Sub-divisional court, Vishal Mardangi, remanded Mahato to jail custody rejecting the CID prayer for further police remand for 15 days.

Mahato, who was arrested on September 26 near Lalgarh where he had been leading an agitation against alleged police excesses under the banner of People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) since last November, was brought to the court amidst tight security.

Rejecting the prayer for further police remand, the magistrate said police had failed to produce adequate evidence against Mahato despite having him in their custody for 14 days.

Mahato has been booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and several sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Those IPC sections are 121 (waging or attempting to wage war against the country), 120B (conspiracy), 122 (collection of arms with intention to wage war), 123 (concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war) and 124 A (sedition).

Mahato's counsel Kaushik Sinha pleaded that the police had no evidence of offence against his client and the entire exercise was to harass the tribal leader. He alleged torture on Mahato in police custody.

Sinha also submitted that PCPA was not a banned organization and for that none of its members could be arrested.

CID counsel Suman Das Mohapatra said police remand was necessary because of further interrogation in the light of new facts reaching them everyday.

Chhatradhar Mahato was taken to Jhargram jail.

Bureau Report


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