RAIPUR: In a major setback to the Chhattisgarh police, the Raipur sessions court on Wednesday set free four persons who were arrested on charges of having “Maoist links” some five years ago.
All the four were arrested in Raipur in June 2012 but their arrests were reportedly shown from different places by the police. They were slapped with the draconian Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Arms Act, various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and put behind bars on charges of having “strong Maoist connection”. The police then claimed to have busted a major Maoist supply chain with the arrests of the four and the recovery of over 450 cartridges used in AK-47 and self-loading rifles (SLR) from them.
The police had further argued that they were the active members of banned CPI (Maoist) organisation belonging to Dandakaranya Area Division and had come to Raipur from Konta (restive Dantewada district) to deliver the ammunitions to a Maoist in Rajnandgaon about 100 km west of Raipur.
Police arrested Anjali Chouhan, a suspended panchayat secretary, Abdul Mujeeb, a teacher, Sheikh Anwar (Anjali’s husband and a journalist) and Hridesh Kumar Dawood. The opposition Congress had then demanded a CBI inquiry into the arrests of four with the "framed charges" of having connections with the Naxals.
“The court of additional sessions judge Atul Kumar Shrivastava didn’t find any concrete and sufficient evidences by the police in support of their various charges and sections against the four accused. All were released from Raipur central jail following the court order,” senior advocate S K Farhan who took up the case told the New Indian Express.
Last month, a Bastar-based journalist Santosh Yadav, who was in jail for a year and a half on charges of having Maoist links, was granted bail by the Supreme Court on February 28. Yadav was freed from the Kanker jail, north Bastar.