West Bengal Govt goes after Mahato supporters
Posted by Ka Frank on October 14, 2009
This article was published in The Hindu.
Mahato’s supporters, associates punishable under UAPA: WB govt
October 3, 2009
In a warning to associates and supporters of arrested PCPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato, the West Bengal government on Saturday said that those demanding his release were punishable under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
“The UAPA says that those helping banned organisations in various ways like providing funds and publicity are punishable under the act. Thus, those who are advocating his release are also punishable,” Chief Secretary Asok Mohan Chakraborty told newsmen here.
Mr. Chakraborty was reacting to a question whether the government would take any action against those lobbying for the release of Mahato who was arrested on September 26 under UAPA at Lalgarh. He said that those associates whose names were revealed by the Maoist leaders and workers last week were also punishable in the eyes of the law.
Mahato’s arrest by CID in the guise of journalists had raised the hackles of the press fraternity which had accused the state government of compromising with their livelihood.
Yesterday, Maoist leader Kishenji had contested the police’s claim that Mahato owned property, had bank accounts and a fabulous insurance policy, challenging the government to seize the property and release the related documents to the press.