The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Police keep up swoop heat on People’s War

Aug. 26: In the continuing crackdown on People’s War, police in Midnapore arrested three activists, one of whom was allegedly involved in the murder of a CPM local committee secretary in November.

Pran Krishna Sardar, 35, Aswini Mura, 32, and Gopal Soren, 30, were picked up from their villages in the Belpahari area of Paschim Midnapore district in raids early today.

“Sardar is one those named in the FIR on the murder of CPM local committee secretary Sudhir Singh Sardar,” a senior district police officer said.

The police said all three were active People’s War members operating in the forest areas of Belpahari, Banspahari and Salboni.

Partha Banerjee, who was earlier arrested with Rajabazar Science College teacher Kaushik Ganguly in Calcutta and is now in Midnapore Jail, today appealed for bail before the Judge’s Court here. The petition, however, was rejected.

Banerjee is a former state committee secretary of the People’s War.

There are more than 100 people in judicial custody in the Midnapore Jail.

Five arrested members of the People’s War were produced before the sub-divisional judicial magistrate in Behrampore during the day. They were all remanded in four more days in police custody.

Yesterday, the Murshidabad police rounded up 16 people from the Nowda area of the district following simultaneous raids on two villages.

Five were put up in court, the rest were allowed to leave after interrogation.

The police had yesterday said that three of those rounded up from Nowda were arrested and the rest detained. Today, two more from among those questioned were issued arrest warrants and produced in court.

Shampa Dasgupta, the third-year student of Calcutta’s Gurudas College who was arrested for her Naxalite connections, was again produced in court today. She was remanded in a further 14 days in judicial custody.

Shampa’s lawyer Sujit Majumdar said he would move a bail petition before the court on August 31.

Police claim all the five arrests in Nowda were justified as they were closely linked to Shampa and her activities as the “territorial commander” of the People’s War in the area.

Among those arrested yesterday is Mansur Shiekh of Badshanagar who is pushing 60. “I have nothing to do with these people, the police just picked me up from my sleep yesterday,” he said from the court lock-up.

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