Pro-Maoist Leader Chhatradhar Mahato Arrested By NIA; Know The Odisha Link

Kolkata: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Maoist sympathiser-turned-Trinamool Congress member Chhatradhar Mahato on Saturday night.

Mahato was taken in custody in connection with taking the Bhubaneswar-bound Rajdhani Express hostage in 2009. His arrest came days after the Calcutta High Court prevented his arrest in a murder case.

Mahato was arrested from his house in Lalgarh of Jhargram district. Mahato, who served as the convenor of the Maoist-backed People Against Police Atrocities (PCPA), was put under arrest in the 2009 Rajdhani Express hostage case.

The arrest comes 12 years after Mahato took the Bhubaneshwar-bound train hostage. He has now been arrested under the UAPA and will be produced in a Kolkata court. Now a TMC worker, Mahato is crucial for the West Bengal’s ruling party to woo tribal voters.

Mahato’s wife Niyati said that their phones were snatched by the NIA officials. “They barged into our house. He [Chhatradhar] was pushed and brought down from the terrace. When he asked what was the matter, he was asked to step out. They said they’ve come from the police station,” Niyati Mahato was quoted as saying by India Today.

“There were at least 40-50 people. We don’t [know] where he was taken. We have no information,” Niyati said.

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