West Bengal: Chhatradhar Mahato, three other Lalgarh movement activists convicted under UAPA
Chhatradhar Mahato and three other activists of the Lalgarh movement in West Midnapore in West Bengal were on Monday convicted by the Midnapore district court under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Two other activists were also convicted for waging war against the state and other arms and explosives act.
The Midnapore district court judge will decide the quantum of punishment on Tuesday – that might range from life imprisonment to death. The conviction triggered waves of protests from human rights organizations and from several villages of Lalgarh. Chhatradhar Mahato’s family described it as a “political conspiracy.” Wife of Chhatradhar Mahato – Niyati Mahato said that the family did not have any other options but to move the higher court to seek justice.
Chhatradhar Mahato was the most popular over ground face of the Lalgarh movement, as he steered the movement under the banner of the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities which initially in 2008-2009 was believed to be a shadow organization of the Maoists – led by Kishenji. In the later stages, its link with the Maoists became more evident as the PCPA was at the front of the movement that had turned violent.
However, on Monday the Midnapore district court convicted Chhatradhar Mahato, Sukhshanti Baske, Sagun Murmu and Sambhu Soren under the UAPA and under various other provisions of the IPC sections – 307, 34, 121, and 122A that dealt with murder, criminal conspiracy, waging war against the state and various other sections of the arms act and explosives act.
Raja Sarkhel and Prasun Chatterjee – two other members of the same group were not convicted under the UAPA but charged under other sections for waging war against the state arms and explosives act.
Source:: Indian Express