Maoist undertrials get Political Prisoner status

The Calcutta High Court today allowed the status of political prisoners to PCPA leader Chatradhar Mahato and six other prisoners who are presently lodged in jails facing charges of unlawful activities under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Subhasish Roy, counsel for the seven undertrial prisoners pleaded before the high court that all the seven Maoist leaders who were arrested by the police were associated with political movement in the state. Pointing out provisions of the The West Bengal Correctional Services Act 1995 Roy argued that such persons deserve political prisoner status.

Maoist leaders like CPI Maoist spokesperson Gour Chakraborty and Venkateshwar Reddy alias Telegu Dipak who happened to be a close associate of Kishenji are also among the prisoners who were given this status by Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia on Wednesday.

In December 2011, Gour Chakraborty who was arrested from the office of a private news channel in Park Street in June 2009, moved the Calcutta High Court demanding such a status.  In January 2012 Telegu Dipak sought the same status. PCPA leader Chatradhar Mahato from Lalgarh in West Midnapore district, Sambhu Soren, Sukhsanti Base, Prasun Chatterjee and Sagun Murmu followed suit in March. All petitions were heard jointly today.

Advocate Anusuya Sinha appeared for the state government.


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