Maoist-backed Peoples Committee Against Police Atrocities spokesperson Chatradhar Mahato will contest the assembly polls as an independent candidate from Jhargram constituency. At present, he is in Midnapore jail.
Mahato, 45, is one of the most prominent faces to campaign for tribal rights and the Maoist struggle in West Bengal, is facing trial under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Additional chief judicial magistrate SK Mohammad Reza sanctioned Mahato’s plea in the Jhargram sub-divisional court on Wednesday.
Jhargram, which encompasses majority of the Maoist hotspots such as Lalgarh, Ramgarh, Kantapahari, Manikpara, Sapdhara, will go to polls on May 10.
“He is at liberty to contest the polls if he follows the jail regulations. The court approved his petition on Wednesday,” Koushik Sinha, Mahato’s lawyer told HT.
“Any undertrial can contest, provided his name is in the electoral rolls. But one cannot contest if he is convicted,” said N K Sahana, the additional chief electoral officer of West Bengal.