The National Investigation Agency on Sunday arrested Trinamool Congress leader Chhatradhar Mahato in connection with the murder of Communist Party of India (Marxist) worker Prabir Mahato in 2009, PTI reported. His arrest came a day after the first phase of voting took place for Assembly elections in the state.
Mahato was the former convener of People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, which was formed in West Bengal’s Lalgarh area in 2008, according to NDTV. Security agencies have alleged that the committee later became a front for Maoist activities, which included the killing of several Left leaders.
The investigation agency arrested Mahato from his home in Lalgarh in the early hours of Sunday and took him to Kolkata. Mahato’s lawyer told the news channel that he was arrested “without even intimating any case or about the warrant of arrest or any order of a learned court”.
An unidentified NIA official told PTI that Mahato had been charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and would be produced before a court in Kolkata later on Sunday.
The Calcutta High Court had directed Mahato to appear before the NIA three times a week to help with the investigation in the case, according to the news agency. He failed to do so.
Mahato had been arrested in the case 2009. The same year, Maoists hijacked the Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express, demanding his release. The NIA is investigating that case too.
After his release in February this year, Mahato became a part of the Trinamool Congress’ State Committee, NDTV reported.