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Evidence of links between Maoists and Mahato found

Ananya Dutta

KOLKATA: Photographs and other incriminating evidence have been found revealing links between the Maoists and Chhatradhar Mahato, convener of the Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee (PSBJC), that led the agitation at Lalgarh and its adjoining areas in West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district, said District Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma on Sunday.

Mr. Verma told The Hindu that details of the PSBJC’s funding have also emerged in the course of the investigation.

The involvement of certain individuals based here in funding and advising the agitation at Lalgarh was also confirmed during Mr. Mahato’s interrogation, said Raj Kanojia, Additional Director-General of the West Bengal police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

There were reports that funds given to the PSBJC from various sources ran into several lakhs of rupees.

The assistant treasurer of the PSBJC, Sukh Shanti Baske, who was arrested in the Lalgarh area on September 28, was brought to Kolkata for interrogation on Sunday.

Mr. Baske has been charged with several sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Mr. Verma said.

Asked to comment on reports that certain Maoist leaders had been identified by Mr. Mahato during his interrogation by the CID, Mr. Verma said: “We have got information that would aid the progress of the operations here.”

There were also reports that the police have found links between Mr. Mahato and some students and even faculty of the Jadavpur University, but officials refused to comment on this.

On Saturday, the State’s Chief Secretary had said that those supporting and associating themselves with Mr. Mahato directly or indirectly were also liable to be punished.

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