Thursday, December 20, 2007

Branding people Maoists

A Maoist, behind every bush
- Police pick up Presidency students on rebel suspicion

Young, nocturnal, loitering around Writers’ and a college student to boot?

Aha! Must be a Maoist and the best course is to give them thana treatment.

Three Presidency College students learnt on Tuesday midnight the perils of getting too close to the seat of power in Bengal in the time of a poster ambush.

They were picked up and made to spend the night in a police station because the law-enforcers thought the students were part of a poster squad out to catch them by surprise again.

Last Friday, Maoist posters were found on the walls of Writers’ Buildings, following which some policemen were suspended.

Once bitten, twice awake, the policemen on duty at Writers’ on Tuesday night didn’t take any chance and alerted the Lalbazar control room over wireless that three suspected Maoists had been picked up.

“The trio were taken to Hare Street police station in a van and questioned till the wee hours. During questioning, we came to know that they were students of Presidency College,” an officer said.

“We have got orders to arrest anybody moving suspiciously around the state secretariat. The constables discharged their duty,” another officer said.

According to a friend of the trio, the three first-year physics honours students — all boarders of Hindu Hostel — had tea at the stall near Medical College and Hospital and walked towards Writer’s Buildings.

Hostel superintendent Tarun Bera they were “new students and lost their way”.

The cloud of suspicion hung over the students for eight hours — from 1am to 9am — when the superintendent went to the police station and confirmed their identity. The police let the three go only after the official produced the register that had their names.


Anonymous said...

It must be pointed out that the ABP group most often goes along with the CPI(M)'s statements that all disturbance was created by Maoists. It is only the Statesman group which spoke against this general consensus for all these months.

The ABP group now has no fixed stance. One day it supports the government's official statements and the other day it opposes them. When the general consensus of the public at large was against the massacres in Nandigram in early November, the ABP group went along with the popular mood and spoke out against the CPI(M) but now it is slowly (and sometimes) veering back towards publishing (and thereby approving of) government statements.