Chhatradhar Mahato, the arrested spokesperson of Peoples’ Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), has been remanded to police custody for three days.
Mahato was brought to Jhargram on Tuesday night, about 200 kms to the west of Kolkata, and produced at the sub judicial magistrate’s court on Wednesday noon. The public prosecutor, however, had asked for a remand of 18 days.
The 44-year old leader has been charged under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), under which a detention of 180 days by the police is permitted.
Meanwhile people set a pick up van and a trekker on fire at Pidrakulli, about 20 km from Midnapore town, about 150 kms to the west of Kolkata. The agitators were demanding the release of Mahato.
Mahato has spent the past few days at Bhawani Bhawan, the headquarters of the detective department of Bengal police where senior officials including the director general of police interrogated him.
Following Mahato’s interrogation, about a dozen persons suspected to have links with his organization Peoples’ Committee Against Police atrocities (PCAPA) and the banned Communist Party of India, have been arrested or picked up by the police for interrogation.
A printing press in north Kolkata was sealed by the police and the owner arrested on Tuesday night for allegedly printing Maoist posters and other literature.
The editor of their mouthpiece People’s March has also been arrested on Tuesday.
Mahato was the spokesperson of PCAPA and arrested by two policemen posing as journalists on 26 September at a spot about 200 kms to the west of Kolkata.