Mahasweta Devi dares govt arrest her on naxal talks

With the Centre warning of action under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against civil society representatives speaking in favour of naxals, social activist and writer Mahasweta Devi dared Chidambaram to arrest her.

Last Updated: May 07, 2010, 21:47 PM IST

Kolkata: With the Centre warning of action
under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against civil
society representatives speaking in favour of naxals, social
activist and writer Mahasweta Devi today dared Union Home
Minister P Chidambaram to arrest her.

"I invite Chidambaram to arrest and jail me for 10
years if the central government thinks I am a Maoist," the
Magsaysay award winner told PTI here.

The renowned writer who has spent most of her life
projecting the plight of the tribals and promoting their
rights said, "I condemned police atrocities against the
naxalites in the `70s and I am not scared that by supporting
the right cause I will be labelled a Maoist."

Controversial Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman, whose
statements supporting Maoists embarrassed party supremo Mamata
said, "I have been advocating the cause of tribals all
through. If I am branded a Maoist for it, I am helpless. But I
am not a Maoist." He said he would continue to compose songs
to promote the cause of tribals.

"I have seen the indescribable sufferings of tribals
and I am now speaking to uphold their rights, but I am
against violence of any kind," he told a TV channel.
Suman said it was unfortunate that supporting the
rights of tribals over forests would earn one the wrath
of the government.

"I will compose a song on tribal leader Lalmohan
Tudu, the president of the People`s Committee against Police
Atrocities who died in an encounter with the joint forces
near Lalgarh."

PTI