KOLKATA: The Calcutta High court on Wednesday reduced the life term awarded to Chatradhar Mahato, the face of Maoists’ backed Lalgarh movement in 2008-2009, to 10 years imprisonment, Wednesday, and also acquitted two other sympathisers of the outfit.
A division bench of the court also quashed the lower court’s life-sentence awarded to three members of People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA)-the organisation that had spearheaded the movement in which 275 CPM leaders and workers were allegedly murdered- and reduced their sentence to 10 years imprisonment.
The four convicts, Chatradhar, Sukhshanti Baskey, Shambhu Soren and Sagun Murmu, are expected to be released next week as they have already completed the said terms in jail.
During the course of the hearing in the high court challenging the lower court’s order, the government did not oppose the petition filed by Mahato and others.
The release of Chatradhar is said to be politically significant in the backdrop of Trinamool’s debacle in Jungle Mahal area in the Lok Sabha polls. Trinamool lost all three Lok Sabha seats, Jhargram, Purulia and Midnapore, in Jungle Mahal in the recent Lok Sabha polls.
The party’s post-poll analysis revealed that both the tribals and the OBC Kurmi community did not support the party.
"The government did not oppose the petitions of Chatradhar and other three convicts’ strongly because all of them belong to the OBC category. The release of the four will help us to win the hearts of their hearts and reverse their votes in favour of Trinamool,” said a leader.
Trinamool’s nightmare show
Earlier, in 2011, the ruling party had wiped out the CPI-M with the alleged support of the Maoists.
In the recent Lok Sabha elections though, the Trinamool Congress was wiped out losing all three seats, namely, Jhargram, Purulia and Midnapore, in Jungle Mahal.