Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Naxalite held in Nandigram

NANDIGRAM: The arrest of a “suspected Maoist” from Sonachura in Nandigram triggered a flurry of activities in the West Midnapore police with all senior officers rushing to the district headquarters to interrogate the “prize catch.”

The arrest is reason enough for the state government keep the CRPF in Nandigram for some more time. The government had earlier promised to keep the forces in the troubled zone for three months. On Tuesday when the CRPF teams completed their three-month stay, state home secretary Prasad Ranjan Ray ruled out chances of withdrawal of the central forces at the moment. “They will stay there for some more time,” Ray said.

Acting on a tip-off, a police team, along with the Rapid Action Force (RAF), raided Sudhangshu Das’s hut on Tuesday morning and rounded up Mithu Ghosh, the suspected Maoist who had taken shelter there.

Das is an organizer of the Bhumi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) that has been at war with CPM and police since the government tried to acquire parts of Nandigram for the chemical hub.

Mithu Ghosh, however, happens to be a member of the Shramik Sangram Committee (SSC) — a Naxalite organization that has no links with the Maoists. Police confiscated from Ghosh a copy of the SSC party organ, Shramik Istehar, and a copy of Krishak Path, the mouthpiece of its peasant wing.

“Police are spreading malicious lies in their bid to project Ghosh as a Maoist activist. He has been with SSC for long and has been frequenting Nandigram to organize a movement among the rural poor against state repression. The papers that police found with Mithu are all our idelogical organs,” said SSC spokesman Tushar Bhattacharya.

Later in the afternoon, the police went on a low key but continued to call Ghosh a Maoist. According to police, he denied having Maoist links during interrogation. The police will produce him to court on Wednesday and will pray for taking him in their custody for some more days.

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