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Activists protest detention of tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato.

Byline: ANI

Kolkata, Oct 11 (ANI): Hundreds of activists of various organisations, including the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR), took out a rally here on Saturday and sought the release of tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato.

The activists urged the government to open talks with banned organisations.

"We have supported the Lalgarh people's struggle. Those persons, including Chhatradhar Mahato, arrested under UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) or booked under UAPA, should be immediately released," said Sujato Bhadra, secretary, APDR.

They also demanded the repeal of all draconian laws used to detain Maoists.

"We have been fighting against these draconian laws and this time also we are up against it. This is the worst kind of law as compared to other such laws," said Bibhas Chakrabarty, an activist.

Mahato, the leader of the People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), which has been spearheading the agitation against alleged police atrocities, was nabbed from the Pirka region, near Lalgarh village.

Mahato was about to give an interview to a journalist when he was apprehended.

Mahato had been giving regular interviews when the paramilitary forces and the state police had launched the anti-Maoist operations in Lalgarh, a place declared as a liberated zone by the Maoists, on June 19 forcing him to go underground for some time.

The tribals under Mahato had a free run for nine months with the police withdrawing from the camps, before the paramilitary troops captured Lalgarh from the Maoists who were fuelling the tribal agitations. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Oct 21, 2009
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