People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 40

October 04, 2009


                        Bengal Police Takes Chhatradhar Mahato into Custody

                        B Prasant

THE media-anointed, self-proclaimed, non-tribal �leader� of the �second Santhal rebellion� has been how Chhatradhar Mahato accustomed to being referred to reverentially among the bourgeois political outfits, the big media -- and their patrons in and out of the country. He is accused in 21 murder cases of CPI(M) workers over the past couple of years, 

The media in particular had been much �critical� for a long time now also about the �inability� of the police to arrest Chhatradhar despite his continual appearance in the electronic media.  As it turned out, it was a �media person,� close enough to the criminal to have him act as one of the conduits between the �Maoists� and the Trinamul Congress-SUCI combine over the past one year, who gave the renegade the surprise of his life.  This was on one sunny afternoon in the jangal mahal on September 26, 2009.

Formally proclaiming his arrest loudly, the police whisked him away to an unknown  destination. There was no resistance on the surprised Chhatradhar�s part at all, especially as two �journalists� (policemen) jumped on Chhatradhar, pistols at the ready, pinning his arms behind his back and a loud �click!� was heard as the cuffs snapped into place. with The remaining real journos watched this operation at the �media conference� that the criminal had called with self-confidence deep into the jangal mahal at a village near Lalgarh, most of them faithful to the �anti-CPI(M) cause� that the criminal represented with aplomb.

The chieftain of the Bengal opposition preferred to be mum about the arrest, as were the senior citizens of the Pradesh Congress -- and the �civil society� was of differing views with at least one member of that motley anti-CPI(M) crowd calling Chhatradhar a �member of the CPI(M)'! The reaction of another �civil stalwart� was even more interesting.  She �grieved� for Chhatradhar and said with a sob that the �Santhal rebellion� has �just lost momentum.�


Herewith we give a brief recap of the rise and fall of the criminal Chhatradhar.  In November 2008, the �Maoists� exploded a landmine at Bhadutala in Purulia near the motorcade of Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.  In the wake of the unsuccessful attack, the �Maoists� formed a convenient �front� with Trinamuli goons Chhatradhar and his brother Sasadhar as the respectively overt and covert heads of a �People�s Committee Against Police Atrocities� or PCAPA. 

The PCAPA lost little or no time in raising hell in the jangal mahal -- and it funded and armed �Moist� killers to kidnap, torture, as well as kill and maim CPI(M) workers systematically.  Sasadhar meanwhile had been inducted directly into the ranks of the �Maoist� killers and given the name of �Vikash.� Both this goon and one other hoodlum who called himself �Kishanji� regularly briefed the electronic and print media at �unknown� places in the jangal mahal, cowardly backs to the camera, faces covered, over the past one year.

What these murderous neo-fascists did not take note of the fact was that three young �journalists� had joined the throng of those media-persons who have been in great love and affection with the anti-CPI(M) wrong-doings of both the PCAPA and its mother organisation, the �Maoists.� 

All three were in fact young detectives of the Bengal police.  Nothing and nobody would and could give them away, such was their professional appearance and behaviour, and all three carried impeccable media credentials. They often �stringered� for the bourgeois media and they organised phone-in programmes, on a fair regular basis, on behalf of the �Maoist� killers and the criminal Chhatradhar.

There was one worrying factor though in the entire episode.  Just before the police trio sprang into action, a call was received on one of the three sophisticated cell phones the criminal Chhatradhar carries.  On receiving the call, Chhatradhar suddenly �ended� the �media conference� and whispered that �I have news of the police coming in.� He was about to make good his escape deep into Jharkhand just across the very porous border when he was taken into custody.  Is another �sleeper cell� of the �Maoists�/PCAPA active yet in certain quarters?


Meanwhile, the example of Enayetpur has emboldened the villagers in the red clay zones to come forth with stiff resistance to the �Maoist� and the Trinamuli predators.  We receive news quite regularly over the past week of the attackers retreating in the face of mass resistance.  Raat pahara or night watches have been set up.  The villagers count on increasing numbers in their ranks of resistance just as the dwindling popular support � whatever little there had been of it � of the �Maoists� and Trinamulis make them depend more and more on arms. 

This is classical case of extreme alienation of the people, and one that reminds us gray-haired lot of the fate the �Naxalite� movements in the Midnapore locales of Debra and Gopiballavpore, the so-called �liberated zones� of the CPI(M-L) in the 1970s.  Will these goons never learn a single lesson from history -- and are condemned to repeat all the errors of commission of the past in every exaggerated form!


This, however, is not to underestimate the cruelty of the record of �accomplishment� of the �Maoists.�  Only a couple of days earlier to the criminal Chhatradhar�s arrest, two CPI(M) workers were brutally done to death in the jangal mahal at the hands of the �Maoist�-Trinamuli murder conglomerate.  They were comrades Nemai Bishui and Samir Singha Mahapatra of Goaltore in Midnapore.  We record that from the time the joint operations began in the jangal mahal, 60 CPI(M) workers have been brutally killed, and several dozens are yet missing and this includes quite a few  police personnel.

 In a related development, far away deep in south 24 Parganas, at Pathar Pratima, Trinamuli goons shot and killed a CPI(M) worker, comrade Rafiq Mollah.  This fourth time attack on comrade Rafique proved fatal.  Biman Basu, Bengal CPI(M) secretary has condemned the killings.