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KOLKATA: The Maoist-backed Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee on Friday called upon the people of Jangalmahal (the forested south-western part of West Bengal) to “boycott” the CBI probe into the Jnaneswari Express derailment case.
This follows the CBI declaring the outfit's spokesperson Asit Mahato one of the key conspirators in the derailment plan.
Meanwhile, the bandh called by the PSBJC in Paschim Medinipur, Bankura and Purulia districts partially affected normal life, mainly in the forest fringe areas, with shops, schools and offices remaining closed and vehicles staying off the road.
The bandh was called in protest against the arrest of 13 persons, including three city-based “intellectuals,” from Mathurapur village of the Salboni block in Paschim Medinipur on June 15.
Though there was no report of any violence during the day, the region is expected to witness a similar shutdown on Saturday and Sunday as well, with the PSBJC observing “condemnation day” in protest against the completion of a year of the anti-Maoist security operations and the alleged atrocities perpetrated by security personnel and CPI (Marxist) cadres. Reacting to the CBI's naming of Asit Mahato as one of the accused in the Jnaneswari case, Manoj Mahato, PSBJC central committee member, said the CBI was trying to shield the “actual conspirators.”
“We had initially welcomed the CBI for conducting an impartial investigation. But it is clear now that the Centre has no real intention of nabbing the real culprits and had ordered the CBI investigation only to pacify Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee. We appeal to all people to boycott this investigation as it is false,” Mr. Mahato told The Hindu over telephone from the Lalgarh region.
Alleging that the “real culprits” were leaders and supporters of the CPI(M), he said the accused will be “caught by the local people and punished according to the judgment delivered at a people's court.”
However, when asked if punishment meant execution, Mr. Mahato said that the PSBJC did not believe in violence and killing.
He added that the outfit will observe a “black day” on June 23 and 24 in protest against “the CBI falsely accusing Asit Mahato.”
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