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KLO hunger strike in jail

June 5: Three KLO leaders who are lodged in the Jalpaiguri Central Correctional Home have launched an indefinite hunger strike since yesterday, demanding talks with the state government over their release and rehabilitation.

Sources said Tom Adhikary, Narayan Roy and Pradip Roy are on strike in cell 1/8 since yesterday morning.

All three were arrested during January-February this year after an explosive planted by the KLO went off in Bajrapara of Jalpaiguri town killing six on December 26.

Since then, the trio are in the prison.

“On Tuesday, they submitted a letter to the authorities of the central correctional home mentioning that they would launch a fast unto death. Their demand was that the state should hold talks with them regarding release and rehabilitation. The letter was forwarded to the district magistrate of Jalpaiguri and to the state correctional services department (the same day),” said a source.

They did not get a reply and launched the strike.

While Tom was the second-in-command in the KLO, Pradip was the assistant general secretary. Narayan was the deputy commander-in-chief of the outfit.

Sources said the cell in which the three undertrials are observing the hunger strike, has seven other KLO militants and linkmen.

The three arrested militants had earlier said that because of lack of initiative by the erstwhile Left Front government and the present Trinamul government with regard to assisting and rehabilitating those militants who want to return to the mainstream, people are rejoining the KLO.

The trio’s demand for talks has not been endorsed by KLO leaders of the northeast.

Madhusudan Sardar, superintendent of Jalpaiguri Central Correctional Home, said: “Three inmates are on hunger strike. We are monitoring the situation. The entire issue has been referred to the state government and the district administration.”