Aug 4 : Arrested Kolkata activist remanded to the custody of STF

August 4, 2013

Woman held as Mamata cracks down on ‘Naxal sympathisers’
Express news service Posted online: Sun Aug 04 2013, 00:25 hrs

Kolkata : Joyeeta Das, a graduate of Jadavpur University and founder member of suspected Maoist front Mahila Matangini Samiti, was arrested by the police late Friday night, the first time the Mamata Banerjee government has cracked down on “Maoist sympathisers” in Kolkata.
Joyeeta was remanded in police custody till August 14 by a local court on Saturday. Police told the court Joyeeta was an active member of the Maoists’ city committee and claimed to have seized “incriminating” Maoist documents and letters from her. Joyeeta is known in the city committee as “Titas”, police sources said.

It is the first arrest after Mamata said in Lalgarh that her government would come down heavily on “Maoist sympathisers” in Kolkata.

Joyeeta’s parents are central government employees and she is married to Abhigyan Sarkar, the editor of New Dawn, a pro-Naxal magazine. Sarkar is also a PhD scholar at JU.

Joyeeta, along with Debolina Chakraborty, president of Matangini Mahila Samiti, had allegedly played a key role during the Singur and Nadigram land movement. At that time, both were close to the Trinamool Congress.

The Mahila Matangini Samiti also played a significant role during the Lalgarh movement. But after the TMC came to power, the ruling party started distancing itself from the Mahila Matangini Samiti and later disowned it.

Significantly, it was Mamata who had set both Joyeeta and Debolina free when they were confined in a room by Left parties when the Left Front was in power.

Debolina had earlier been arrested for participating in the Nonandanga eviction movement. She was given bail after two months. Though she now keeps away from mass movements and rights groups, Joyeeta took part in the women’s movement in Kamduni, where a 20-year-old student was raped and murdered.

A senior police officer said, “Joyeeta was very active in the organisation. She was moving from place to place to organise the Maoists’ movement again. She was trying to regroup several frontal organisations of the Maoists before the Lok Sabha elections.”


Girl held for Maoist link sent to STF custody
TNN | Aug 4, 2013, 04.11 AM IST

KOLKATA: A city court on Saturday remanded Jayeeta Das, a Matangini Mahila Samity member booked for her alleged links with the CPI(Maoist), in the custody of the Special Task Force (STF) for two weeks.

A student of Jadavpur University, Jayeeta has been slapped with charges of sedition and terrorist activities under sections 120B, 121 IPC and sections 18, 18B, 20 and 39 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Jayeeta’s arrest, however, surprised other intelligence agencies dealing with the Maoist insurgency. Apart from the STF, intelligence wings of the Counter Insurgency Force, Intelligence Bureau and the Subsidiary Intelligence Branch keep a close watch on Maoist activities in the state. A senior officer from one of these agencies said that Jayeeta was an over-ground worker for a long time.

“We never disturb such over-ground workers who move openly. Often, their movements provide more important links. We only monitor their movements closely. In each city, there are several such over-ground workers,” said an intelligence officer.

Officers from other agencies agreed that consecutive arrests of Sabyasachi Goswami alias Kishore and Jayeeta by the STF was against the style of working of an agency that deals with insurgency. They also hinted that such hasty arrests may hamper entire monitoring network.

Meanwhile, the STF claimed in its FIR that Jayeeta was a member of the city committee of CPI (Maoist). STF officials also claimed in the court that they had recovered some incriminating documents and dairies from Jayeeta. The accused, however, denied all allegations. “I work for mass organizations. Police have framed me,” Jayeeta said when she was being taken out of the court.

Jayeeta, a known activist in the city, is doing her post-graduation in Film Studies from Jadavpur University. She had started off as a students’ activist of the United Students’ Democratic Front and then joined mass organization Matangini Mahila Samity. She had worked in Nandigram during the anti-land acquisition movement. During that time, CPM leaders had claimed that the Matangini Mahila Samity was a frontal outfit of CPI (Maoist) and even demanded arrest of Jayeeta and other activists. But police never arrested them.

Rights organizations like the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights and the Committee For the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) condemned the arrest. In a statement, CRPP president SAR Geelani demanded unconditional release of Jayeeta.