A man who questioned the State government’s policy on farmers during a rally addressed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Maoist-affected Jangalmahal on Wednesday, has been arrested under non-bailable sections.
Shiladitya Chowdhury, a resident of Binpur in Paschim Medinipur who had gone to the rally at Belpahari, was produced before a district court on Saturday and remanded in14-day judicial custody.
“Chowdhury has been charged with attempts to break into a high-security zone, using threatening language and assaulting police personnel,” Bharati Ghosh, Superintendent of Police (Jhargram), told The Hindu over telephone.
The accused was booked under Section 332 of the IPC (voluntarily causing hurt to a public servant while discharging his duties), Section 353 (assault or use of criminal force), Section 447 (punishment for criminal trespass) and Section 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation).
At the rally, Mr. Chowdhury said farmers were dying as the price of fertilizers was increasing and government was not doing enough.
Eyewitnesses said that Ms. Banerjee was heard giving directions to isolate him from the crowd, referring to him as a “Maoist.”
Following the incident, police personnel detained him for questioning. He was, however, allowed to walk free that day.
His arrest, three days on, has once again brought to the fore the issue of Ms. Banerjee’s perceived intolerance to criticism directed at her government.
In May this year, during a television show hosted by a private channel, Ms. Banerjee had called the students in the audience “Maoists” and “supporters of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)” as some of them put up uncomfortable questions to her.