Thursday, June 25, 2009

Intellectuals pay price for championing Naxal cause

25 Jun 2009, 0157 hrs IST, Saugata Roy, TNN

KOLKATA: Three days after some members of civil society went to Lalgarh to broker peace with People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA)
leader Chhatradhar Mahato, police on Wednesday lodged a general complaint against film maker Aparna Sen, dramatist Shaonli Mitra, poet Joy Goswami and others.

They were charged with breaking section 144 while entering the villages. Police said reports submitted to the government suggested that some of the Maoists had accompanied the intellectuals during their Lalgarh trip.

Taken aback with the police move, Shaonli Mitra said, ‘‘I don’t know who the Maoists are. I have never seen them. We took a car to Lalgarh and at frequent intervals police checked our vehicle and asked for our identity. We were not aware that Section 144 has been clamped in the area. Police didn’t tell us about it while inspecting our vehicle.’’

Aparna Sen endorsed Mitra’s view. ‘‘How do we know that the state government has passed such an order unless we are told about it. Shaonli had talked to chief secretary before our visit. He didn’t say anything about the prohibitory order...How do we know about the order?’’


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