NIA quizzes TMC leader and former Maoist sympathiser Chattradhar Mahato
NIA quizzes TMC leader and former Maoist sympathiser Chattradhar Mahato

Kolkata: Trinamool Congress(TMC) leader and former convenor of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) Chattradhar Mahato was questioned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday in connection with two cases.

NIA questioned Mahato in connection with the 2009 Rajdhani Express attack in West Midnapore district and the murder of a CPIM leaderAbir Mahato from Behrampore.

Mahato was interrogated twice - on Friday and Saturday. While talking about the investigation, Mahato said that he was being targeted by the BJP for being with the TMC.

“It is not clear as yet, but this is nothing but a political conspiracy is what I can say,” He added.

“I have no involvement in the cases and I don’t know Abir Mahato. His house is about 20 km away from mine. Secondly, the Rajdhani Express attack took place when I was in custody in 2009,” said Mahato.

The erstwhile PCPA leader also clarified that he did not have information about Maoist activity in the region at present.

Mahato was jailed in 2009 under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and spent 10 years in jail. He revolted during the erstwhile CPIM regime. During the left rule in the state, he was jailed under UAPA in relation with a land mine blast near Salboni, West Midnapore district.

The blast had taken place while the convoy of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya was on his way from the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Jindal Power Plant. Two Union Ministers' cars were also part of the convoy.

Mahato was inducted in the TMC state committee list as the secretary in July. the step was taken because the ruling party in West Bengal is looking to strengthen its grassroots in West Midnapore district ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections in West Bengal.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP won the West Midnapore, Jhargram, Purulia and Bankura seats which comprise the Junglemahal belt, the erstwhile hotbed of Maoists.

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