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NIA nets TMC leader and former convenor of the Maoist-backed People Against Police Atrocities

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New Delhi, Mar 29: The National Investigation Agency has nabbed a Trinamool Congress, state secretary Chhatradhar Mahato for allegedly bringing armed tribals to hold a trainload of the Rajdhani Express passengers and crew hostage in West Bengal.

His arrest comes days after the Calcutta High Court had exempted from custodial interrogation by the NIA in another case registered in 2009 relating to the murder of a CPM activist in Lalgarh.

Erstwhile Maoist sympathiser and Trinamool Congress leader Chhatradhar Mahato

Mahato, the former convenor of the Maoist-backed People Against Police Atrocities (PCPA), was nabbed from his residence in Jhargram district by an NIA team comprising of 40-45 personnel late on Saturday, hours after he exercised his franchise.

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Mahato, 50, had earlier served a 10-year sentence for his involvement in a landmine blast triggered by Maoists in Salboni in 2008, aimed at the convoy of the then West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and former Union minister Ramvilas Paswan.

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    A day before his arrest, he had said that he was questioned for six hours in Kolkata von Friday. He said that he was meeting the NIA officers as per the orders of the court. The High Court had directed Mahato to appear before the NIA thrice a week at its Salt Lake office in Kolkata. He was also directed not to leave Bengal until the next hearing by the court on April 16.

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