Kolkata, July 19 (IANS) Veteran Maoist spokesperson Gour Chakraborty, who was behind bars since his arrest in 2009, was on Tuesday acquitted by a city court here.
The septuagenarian Chakraborty was arrested on June 23, 2009, a day after the centre banned the radical left-wing Communist Party of India-Maoist.
He was charged with several offences including under section 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which provides punishment for being member of terrorist gang or organisation and carries a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
“The court of city Sessions Judge Kum Kum Singha acquitted Chakraborty of all the charges. The prosecution could not substantiate the charges brought against Chakraborty, and court acquitted him. He is likely to walk out of jail today (Tuesday),” said Chakraborty’s counsel S. Roy.
Chakraborty was active in the Lalgarh movement and played a crucial role in uniting urban support bases in favour of the tribal upsurge in Jangalmahal- the three Left Wing Extremism (LWE) hit districts of Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore.
Lalgarh, 200 km west of Kolkata, in West Midnapore district, was on the boil for over two years since November 2, 2008, when a landmine exploded on the route of the convoy of then state Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Union Ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitin Prasada.
Complaining of police atrocities after the blast, angry tribals egged on by the Maoists, launched an agitation against the Left Front government of the day, virtually cutting off the area from the rest of the district.
The agitators torched LF spearhead CPI-M offices, drove away its supporters and forced police to leave, thereby establishing a virtual free zone.
In June 2009, joint forces comprising central paramilitary troopers and crack teams of state police reclaimed the areas and conducted intense operations to flush out the left wing ultras.
The movement gradually died down after the widespread arrests and deaths in gunfights.