Reds fast in jail to protest against raid

HAZARIBAG: Eight members of the CPI(Maoist), headed by politburo members Narayan Sanyal and Ravi Sharma, went on an indefinite strike on Thursday to protest against the October 9 raid. The Maoist leaders alleged that the team, headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police Manish Ranjan and SP Manoj Kaushik, raided the cell in the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Central Jail to bring fresh charges against Sanyal and prevent him from coming out of the jail even after he was granted bail by the Giridih Court.

The police had recovered a dual-SIM cellphone during the raid. But according to the Maoists, the cellphone was deliberately slipped into Sanyal’s pocket so that he could be detained on fresh charges. The Maoists demanded that the EMI and SIM numbers be verified. They also wanted proper inquiry into whether Sanyal actually used the phone. In a memorandum submitted to the jail administration, they demanded a proper inquiry into the matter. Rubbishing the Maoists’ claim that the raid was fake, Kaushik said:

“If the cellphones were not used by the Maoists, how were they communicating with Dodhichi Mobile News, the mouthpiece of the CPI(Maoists) – which has been banned by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal – within one hour of the raid.” Expressing surprise over fast mobile network service inside the cell, the SP alleged that even after the raids, the Maoists are still in possession of cellphones. Kaushik said the raid was not fake and the prohibited articles were recovered in the presence of the officers. “We have sufficient proof that mobile phones were regularly used by the Maoists from their cell which will be found after the verification,” he said, adding that the SIM cards have been sent for verification and once “we get details, FIR will be lodged”.

By going on fast, he said, the Maoists were putting pressure on police and the administration so that no cases are lodged against them. However, he assured that if after getting the call details it was found that the Maoists were innocent, no FIR would be lodged against them.

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