Bengal: Update on Chhatradhar Mahato of PCAPA: Bail in 37/38, New Case Foisted, 6th Year in Prison

February 16, 2015

In another case of continued repression of political prisoners, the West Bengal government has foisted another case on Chatradhar Mahato, the jailed spokesperson of the Peoples Committee against of Police Atrocities (PCPA) of Lalgarh, who has been in jail since 2009.

Chatradhar has been granted bail in 37 of the 38 cases against him, and the trial in the 38th case (under UAPA) is in advanced stage, with every possibility of an acquittal. In this context this foisting of another patently false case on him, regarding the murder of two policemen in Purulia, is a sign of the undemocratic, illegal and vindictive attitude of the Mamata Banerjee government. The continued incarceration of political prisoners, with the foisting of new cases whenever they are on the verge of release, is a method followed by every government to keep them under continuous imprisonment for years. (Here’s an Article on political prisoners in India and the strategies employed by the State to keep them behind bars.)

As a result, when the political prisoner is finally acquitted of all charges, he/she has spent many years in jail although actually innocent, as has been well described by Arun Ferreira in his recent book on his own imprisonment. This highly undemocratic and condemnable practice destroys any constitutional or legal basis for the imprisonment of political prisoners and makes the demand for their unconditional release even stronger.

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