Legal Nation

NIA names TMC member, 12 others in 2009 Rajdhani Express hostage case chargesheet

Kolkata: The NIA in its chargesheet in connection to the the 2009 Rajdhani Express hostage case has named Trinamool Congress member Chhatradhar Mahato and 12 others, the investigating agency said on Friday. All accused have been charged under multiple non-bailable IPC sections and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

In its nearly 50-page long chargesheet, the NIA named Mahto, who was the convenor of the Maoist-backed People Against Police Atrocities (PCPA), as the prime accused. His brother Shashadhar Mahato and the late Maoist commander Kishenji too have been named in the chargesheet filed before NIA special court on Thursday.

Kishenji was killed on November 24, 2011 in an operation by Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) assisted by over 1,000 members of the Central Reserve Police Force, who had cordoned off a forested area in West Midnapore district near the Bengal-Jharkhand border.

Chhatradhar Mahatao, who was one of the frontline leaders of the Lalgarh movement had been arrested in September, 2009 by West Bengal Police.

The New Delhi-Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express was held hostage for a month in October 27, 2009 by the PCPA, which had kidnapped two drivers of train near Banstala in West Midnapore district for allegedly flouting its rail roko call.

Mahato, who was convicted in 2015 and sentenced to life imprisonment, was released from prison after 11 years in February 2020. Soon after his release he had joined the ruling Trinamool Congress. He was, however, arrested by the NIA on March 26 this year, the day after polling was conducted in Jangalmahal.

The chargesheet has been filed within 180 days of his arrest.

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