Maoist tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato arrested in Lalgarh

     An elusive tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato, who has been spearheading an agitation since November last year against alleged police excesses in West Midnapore's troubled Lalgarh area, has been arrested. Mahato, leader of People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), which has been spearheading agitation against alleged police atrocities, was nabbed from Pirka region, near Lalgarh village. Police nabbed Mahato when he was about to give an interview to a journalist who was being followed. "It is a great success for us. He has been charged with more than 15 cases. For the sake of investigation, we cannot divulge further details," said Manoj Verma, Superintendent of Police, West Midnapore. Mahato had been giving regular interviews when the paramilitary forces and the state police had launched the anti-Maoist operations in Lalgarh, the place declared as a liberated zone by the Maoists, on June 19 forcing him to go underground for some time. The tribals under Mahato had a free run for nine months with the police withdrawing from the camps, before the paramilitary troops recaptured Lalgarh from the Maoists who were fuelling the tribal agitations.

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