CPI-Maoist Spokesman Arrested from News Channel’s Office

A CPI-Maoist spokesperson Gour Chakrabarti was arrested on Tuesday night in Kolkata from the office of a TV news channel. Chakrabarti is being interrogated at the Kolkata Police Special Branch office.

The detention of the Maoist leader came amid state government’s efforts to flush out Maoists from Lalgarh with the support of paramilitary forces.

Gour, while speaking to CNN-IBN channel, said that Maoist were making up their mind to lay down arms and hold talks with the government just before he was captured. The Maoist leader also told the channel that the organisation might consider a ceasefire in Lalgarh if the government cooperated with it.

“We have sent a press release stating that we are ready for discussion if there is a ceasefire. The people who have been running this country for the past 62 years have kept the people poor and hungry. They are responsible for the violence. Maoists believe that to give back to the poor their basic rights, there is a need for war,” Chakrabarti said.

Meanwhile, West Midnapore police have lodged a case against filmmaker Aparna Sen, theatre personality Shaoli Mitra and some others for violating Section 144 of the Indian Criminal Procedure Code. These people along with a group had visited Lalgarh on Sunday for talks with Maoists to end violence in the area.

The administration claims that Sen and Mitra’s recent visit to Lalgarh in West Midnapore was in violation of Section 144 in effect in the area.

The section prohibits assembly of five or more persons or the holding of public meetings.

They called for a ceasefire after holding discussions with local people and groups active in the area.

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