Tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato would be arrested for "helping" Maoists in Lalgarh, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said on Thursday even as he accused the Trinamool Congress of having links with the ultra left wing outfit.
Bhattacharjee charged that People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) leader Chhatradhar Mahato was helping Maoists and backed Home Secretary's Ardhendu Sen's statement that he would be arrested.
He told CLP leader Manas Bhuinya that "though Mahato is not with Maoists organisationally, he was helping them".
"The PCPA provided an open forum for Maoists, and had Mahato not helped them, they would not have the courage to strike in West Bengal," the chief minister said.
Alleging that the Trinamool Congress had close links with Maoists in Lalgarh, Khejuri and Nandigram, Bhattacharjee said he, however, would not dub the party as "Maoists".
Bhattacharjee said his government was in contact with Jharkhand and the police were trying to seal many exit points, but there were many escape routes through jungles which were difficult to plug.