Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Police terrorise villages for Maoists

Police raid villages for Maoists

Sttaesman News Service

KRISHNAGAR, Sept. 25: Police have been accused of unleashing a reign of terror among villagers in Poragacha as well as its surrounding villages because of their alleged involvement in Maoist activities. This comes following the recent attack on a CPI-M party office at Poragacha and the incident of rifle snatching from police personnel from Bhutpara in Nadia's Kotwali police station area. Since the attack, Nadia district police have conducted raids in the villages of Poragacha, Banshberia, Hejulee, Digri, Sitanathpur, Pukurgachi, Govindapur and Chandpur ~ Mathpara in Kotwali police station area.

In most cases, according to the villagers, police have arrested innocent people, just because they happen to be relatives of one alleged Maoist activist, Mr Basudev Biswas. During the raids, the police allegedly physically tortured villagers, detaining them at various police stations for four to six days without being booked in any particular case.

According to the family members of one such victim, a 19-year-old girl, Pulti Haldar, was picked up by the Chapra police when she was sleeping with her mother Mrs Jharna Haldar in her house at Digri on 19 August. She was reportedly detained till 23 August and when her father went to the police station to know the cause of detention, police refused to disclose anything. When her father lodged a complaint before the court, police allegedly concocted a story and booked her under Narcotics Act. Again on 22 August, the Kotwali police, without being accompanied by any woman constables, raided the house of Mr Biswas at Poragacha and picked up his wife Mrs Kalpana Biswas since he was not available. They allegedly dragged Mrs Biswas out of the house and then raided her maternal aunt's house at Poragacha. Later, Mrs Biswas was taken to the police station and she was released after six days without any definite charges. Mrs Biswas' relative, Mr Krishna Biswas was also allegedly subjected to torture in the police station before being released the next day. Recently, a fact-finding team of the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights visited the victim families and spoke to them.

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