Four persons connected to Maoist activities in Lalgarh were convicted by a Midnapore court in West Bengal on Monday. The convictions were the first in the state under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which is aimed to check activities that threaten the sovereignty and integrity of India.
The UA(P)A is used against unlawful financial activities, money laundering, terror financing and circulation of fake Indian currency notes.
Chhatradhar Mahato, Sukhsanti Baske, Sambhu Soren and Sagun Murmu -- all four associated with the Maoist movement in Lalgarh between 2008 and 2011 -- were declared guilty under the Act.
Chhatradhar Mahato was one of the most recognised faces of the Lalgarh movement after Kishenji, who was killed in a controversial gunbattle in the forests of Burishole (West Midnapore) on November 24, 2011.
Mahato was arrested by the CID from a press conference at Bansber village in Lalgarh in September 2009, after the sleuths reached the spot disguised as journalists.
A few more accused are facing trials in different parts of Bengal under UA(P)A.
The first person to be arrested in India under UA(P)A was Gour Chakraborty, a spokeperson of the Communsist Party of India-Maoist, on June 23, 2009 in Kolkata. The Act had come into being just the day before.