The letter, signed by several Maoists, has been written by IIT dropout Arnab Dam and senior leader Patit Paban Haldar. Both leaders are currently lodged at Presidency Jail. Jailed Maoists on Wednesday wrote to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, claiming that she will soon be “punished” for “disowning and convicting” Chhatradhar Mahato — “the face of Lalgarh movement and without whom the CM could not have succeeded in bringing change” in Bengal. On Tuesday, a Midnapore court had sentenced Mahato, the convener of People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, and five others to life imprisonment after holding them guilty under UAPA for their alleged links with Maoists.
The letter, signed by several Maoists, has been written by IIT dropout Arnab Dam and senior leader Patit Paban Haldar. Both leaders are currently lodged at Presidency Jail. The letter stated: “The chief minister held several meetings with Mahato and asked him to spearhead the tribal movement. She promised that Mahato would be released when she would come into power. However, she disowned him after assuming office. She would be punished for this treachery… She alone did not bring change in Bengal. Many people like Chhatradhar Mahato were with her.” However, the letter — written on white paper — is yet to reach Mamata and is lying with the superintendent of Presidency Jail.
A senior official of state correctional services said, “We have received the letter. But the prisoners did not follow rules while writing the letter. The process in which a prisoner writes to government authorities is called a prisoner’s petition. There is a form that has to be first submitted to the welfare officer. It will be dispatched from prison after it is duly signed by the welfare officer and the superintendent.” Police said it will initiate a probe in the threats issued to Mamata in the letter. Arnab Dam (36) alias Vikram alias Surya was arrested by the Bengal Police from Biramdih railway station in Purulia district — bordering Jharkhand — in July, 2012. Dam, son of a retired state district judge, dropped out of IIT-Kharagpur (he was a mechanical engineering student) in 1998 and joined CPI-Maoists. Dam, who was earlier the secretary of Bengal Jharkhand Odisha Border Regional Committee, has 79 cases against him, including murder, abduction, looting and sedition.
Patit Paban Haldar, a political prisoner, has been languishing in jail for over five years now. He used to operate in the Jharkhand-Bengal area and is believed to be a top leader in CPI-Maoist. Meanwhile, several rights groups and Bandi Mukti Committee on Wednesday took out a rally carrying photographs of Mamata and Mahato holding meetings in Jungelemahal.