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Activists detained for meeting Maoists

Raktima Bose

KOLKATA: A team of three journalists and as many activists of a human rights organisation was detained near Pirakata in West Bengal's Paschim Medinipur district early on Tuesday, as they had allegedly gone to meet Maoists at a village.

While the journalists were let off after their credentials were verified, the activists were interrogated, and a case of violating prohibitory orders has been filed against them.

Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Verma said security personnel cordoned off Lakhanpur village after receiving information that Maoists were holding a ‘gana adalat' (kangaroo court) there.

“The six persons were detained from the spot, along with 11 villagers. While the journalists were let off after their credentials were checked, the rest were brought to the Salboni police station for questioning, since their credentials were suspect.”

Collecting evidence

Mr. Verma said the three persons were associated with the banned Lalgarh Sanhati Manch and were staying at the village for the past three days. “While collecting evidence, we found that they attended several meetings of the Maoist-backed Police Santrash Birodi Janasadharaner Committee as well as a ‘gana adalat,' which is against the law of the land. There is also an indication that they gave monetary support to the rebels.”

The PSBJC claimed that 72 villagers and the six individuals were detained by the forces in a “surprise attack.”

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