New Delhi: The Trinamool Congress leader from Junglemahal, Chhatradhar Mahato, who was arrested by a team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday, has been sent to seven-day custody by a special court.
The NIA arrested Mahato, a member of the TMC state committee, during a midnight raid from his residence in Jhargram district. Mahato was produced before the Bankshal court as the NIA court was closed. The NIA was granted his two-day custody although the probe agency had pleaded for 14-day custody before the court.
Mahato will now be in NIA custody till April 6 following the court order.
The Bhubaneswar-Delhi Rajdhani express was stopped for over five hours on 27 October 2009 at Banshtala, near Jhargram Station by a group of alleged Maoists. Few members of the Maoist backed People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) had allegedly hijacked the Delhi-Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express in Jhargram district. The train was freed after almost a five-hour face off between the hijackers and security forces.
The NIA had summoned Chhatradhar Mahato for questioning in that case. But Mahato did not appear before the NIA for detailed interrogation which prompted the agency to arrest him.
Mahato remained in jail for many years. He was released in 2020 after remaining behind the bars for 10 years. The NIA is investigating multiple cases against Mahato, including the murder of a CPM leader in 2009.
He was arrested a day after casting his vote on March 28, the first phase of polling. The Trinamool Congress alleged that Mahato’s arrest was nothing other than political vendetta.