Chhatradhar a step closer to fighting elections | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Chhatradhar a step closer to fighting elections

A white kurta pyajama, brown chappal-clad man with a khadi brown sidebag stepped out of the office of the SDO at Jhargram on Thursday with some papers in his hand amid tight security. Koushik Dutta reports

kolkata Updated: Apr 15, 2011 15:13 IST
Koushik Dutta

A white kurta pyajama, brown chappal-clad man with a khadi brown sidebag stepped out of the office of the SDO at Jhargram on Thursday with some papers in his hand amid tight security.

The man is ready to contest the assembly elections from Jhargram constituency, as he has "full faith in the Constitution." This man is now lodged in Midnapore Central Jail.

To contest elections, he has also got permission from Jhargram sub-divisional court. He is PCAPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato.

When the Lalgarh movement started in November 2008, under the banner of People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), Chhatradhar was among the leaders and was arrested by the joint forces in September 2009.

Mahato has several cases against him, including murder, conspiracy for murder, sedition and even one under UAPA. The man, known to be a frontsman for Maoists, appealed to Jhargram court on April 6 with the wish to contest the assembly election as an independent candidate from Jhargram seat; the court gave him permission.

In the 2009 Lok Sabha election, when the movement was at its height, the Maoists called for a vote boycott. At that time, the then state CEO Debasis Sen held meeting on several occasions with PCAPA leaders including Mahato and at last the election was held in Lalgarh and Salboni areas with an arrangement for cluster booths and by shifting some.

Mahato, a resident of Amlia village in Lalgarh, also cast his vote along with some other top PCAPA leaders. Mahato also worked for the Trinamool in the 2008 gram panchayat election in Lalgarh area.

On Thursday, Mahato came to SDO office at Jhargram by 11am. Arrangements for security were tight.

Rashid Munib Khan, the SDPO of Jhargram, was also seen. The PCAPA leader first went to the office of the ARO, to Saptarshi Ghosh, and collected the form for the nomination papers.

His lawyer Koushik Sinha and social welfare officer of Midnapore Correctional Home Debdulal Mandi were also present.