Maoists name leaders for talks with state
CPI (Maoist) has named Sudip Chongdar (alias Kanchan), Himadri Sen Roy (alias Somen) and Patit Paban Haldar, its three former state secretaries now behind bars in, to represent them in case West Bengal government plans to go ahead with its proposed dialogue with the rebels.kolkata Updated: Jul 15, 2011 21:37 IST
Communist Party of India (Maoist) has named Sudip Chongdar (alias Kanchan), Himadri Sen Roy (alias Somen) and Patit Paban Haldar, its three former state secretaries now behind bars in West Bengal, to represent them in case state plans to go ahead with its proposed dialogue with the rebels.
“If Mamata Banerjee has difficulty in holding talks with us directly, she could, for a start, launch dialogue with these three leaders, who are also ideologues, after releasing them,” said CPI (Maoist) leader Bikram in a statement faxed to HT on Friday.
“We have shown our interest in dialogues by maintaining ceasefire on our part, even though we did not declare it officially. Now Mamata, too, has to show her sincerity towards holding talks,” said the Maoist spokesperson.
The government had formed a 13-member committee headed by retired Calcutta high court judge Malay Sengupta on June 4 to review the release of political prisoners on a case-by-case basis. The committee has already held three meetings and have finalised the names of the first batch of political prisoners.
On July 7, she also mandated six members of the civil society to initiate the process of dialogue with the rebels.
“The first list of political prisoners to be released would be announced on July 18, said sources in the review committee. However, Chongdar, Sen Roy and Haldar are unlikely to be in the first list,” said a source in the review committee.
While release of Haldar may take time, as he is already convicted, sources in the state government indicated that possibility of release of Sen Roy and Chongdar has brightened, as both of them enjoys the status of ‘political prisoner,’ which is the basic criteria to be entitled for release.
“We would soon move the Calcutta high court seeking bail for Haldar, as there are instances of person convicted by lower court has been granted bail by higher court,” said Chhoton Das, secretary of Bandi Mukti Committee and a member on the six-member civil society team.
In fact, CPI(M)’s Singur zonal committee secretary Suhrid Dutta, who was convicted by a Chandernagore court for his involvement in the rape and murder of 17-year-old anti-acquisition activist, Tapasi Malik. Dutta was later granted bail by the Calcutta high court.
Chongdar’s arrest along with three other state committee members Barun Sur, Akhil Ghosh and Kalpana Maiti on December 4, 2010 was the single biggest jolt for the Maoists in West Bengal. All of them were granted political prisoner status on July 13.
“Now they are entitled to be released, as promised by the state government. They will now apply before the review committee for considering their case,” Subhashis Roy, lawyer of the rebel leaders, told HT on Friday. Sen Roy, who was granted the status about six months ago, would also apply for release.