Kolkata: TMC leader and former leader of Maoist-backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, Chhatradhar Mahato was arrested on Sunday (March 28) by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with a murder case.
Earlier on Thursday, the Calcutta high court had directed Chhatradhar Mahato to appear at the NIA office thrice a week in relation to his alleged involvement in a murder case.
The agency had moved to the high court with an appeal which challenged a special court order which restrained the agency from arresting Chhatradhar Mahato in connection with the murder of a local CPI(M) leader in 2009 at Lalgarh in the Jangalmahal region, which was then a hotbed of Maoist activities.
The agency summoned Mahato on March 16, 18 and 22 to appear before the investigating officer but the TMC leader did not appear citing toothache, for which he also produced medical documents, but NIA officials were not satisfied with such reasoning.
Meanwhile, Mahato was spotted at Mamata’s rally at Jhargram and is claimed to be West Bengal Chief Minister’s close aide in Jhargram district who tries to mobilise votes in favour of the TMC after the party did badly in the Lok Sabha polls. Within hours of the polls ending in Jhargram district, a 40-member team of NIA officials arrested Chhatradhar Mahato from his Lalgarh house this morning. He will be produced before the NIA Special court today.
The agency had moved the agency’s special court seeking orders for custodial interrogation of Mahato. The TMC leader failed to appear before the special NIA court on numerous occasions citing different reasons. The decision of the court was followed by the TMC leader’s incompetence to abide by the order.
NIA’s plea seeked custodial interrogation of Chhatradhar Mahato, on which a division bench had ruled that the accused would appear in front of the investigating officer at 11 am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the office.
The NIA’s case against Mahato is registered under various sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Ex-Maoist Chhatradhar Mahato was released from prison back in 2020 after having served a 10-year sentence.