A day after Chhattradhar Mahato,leader of the Peoples Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) was arrested,Lalgarh wore a deserted look on Sunday with shops and business establishments closed after Maoists called a bandh in the area.
The Maoists who abducted two constables of the state armed police last night,demanding the release of Mahato,however remain untraced even as the security forces launched combing operations in various parts of the area today.
There is no doubt that Mahato is an important leader for the Maoists. They abducted two constables last night and demanded the release of Mahato. Moreover,the Maoists have called a bandh in protest against Mahatos arrest, said Manoj Verma,Superintendent of Police,West Midnapore,who is leading the joint forces.
The two constables Siteshwar Prasad Singh and Sushil Nag were picked up when they were returning to their camp in Lalgarh aboard a public bus. A group of armed Maoists stopped the bus near Tamajhuri in Belpahari and asked the two constables to alight.
The PCAPA members later claimed that the duo had been abducted in protest against the arrest of Mahato. They also demanded his immediate release.
The bandh,meanwhile,ensured a thin attendance at various Puja pandals in and around Lalgarh with most people choosing to stay indoors. Besides,the members of the Kolkata Press Club wrote to Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee protesting against the police action in arresting Mahato,while disguised as a press reporter. They condemned the action and claimed that it is derogatory to the profession.