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Chhatradhar Mahato, 5 others awarded life sentence in West Bengal

Midnapore: Chhatradhar Mahato, convener of a Maoist-backed organisation, and three others connected with ultra Left activities, were on Tuesday sentenced to life imprisonment by a local court under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Fourth Additional District and Sessions Judge Kaberi Bose passed the order against Mahato, a tribal leader and convener of People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA), Sukhsanti Baske, Sambhu Soren and Sagun Murmu. They had been convicted by the court yesterday. Two others, Raja Sarkhel and Prasun Chatterjee, were also awarded life term under IPC sections related to sedition. The two had been convicted yesterday. Public Prosecutor Rajkumar Das had yesterday pleaded for life imprisonment for all the six for being associated with Maoist movement in Lalgarh between 2008 and 2011. A number of people opposing the movement were killed during the period. Mahato was one of the most recognised faces of Lalgarh movement. The tribals under him had 'liberated' Lalgarh and had a free run for nine months as police withdrew from its camps. Later, central paramilitary forces and the police recaptured the areas from the grip of Maoists who were assisting the tribal agitation. The agitation started after police raided tribal homes and even arrested schoolboys shortly after the then West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and then union ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitin Prasada narrowly escaped a landmine blast at Salboni on November 2, 2008. CID, which had claimed it had evidence of Mahato's close links with the Maoists, arrested him in an undercover operation from Pirka village near Lalgarh on September 26, 2009. It had slapped charges against Mahato under UAPA in January next year. PTI

Updated : 13 May 2015 6:31 AM GMT
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