Kolkata: Trinamool Congress leader Mamata
Banerjee today warned the Left government in West Bengal not
to use the stringent anti-terror law Unlawful Activities
(Prevention) Act against intellectuals.
Her warning came two days after the West Bengal
government declared that those demanding release of
Maoist-backed tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato were punishable
under the Act.
With eminent writer Mahasweta Devi planning to take out a
rally to demand Mahato`s release, Banerjee asked the Buddhadeb
Bhattacharjee government not to implicate intellectuals like
the Magsaysay award winner.
"We are keeping a watch on the situation...Mahasweta Devi
is a respected person and intellectuals are assets of the
country. They are for democratic movement. If intellectuals
are touched, we will give a fitting reply," she said.
The Bengali writer and other intellectuals have demanded
release of the People`s Committee against Police Atrocities
leader, arrested under the Act for alleged links with Maoists.
Banerjee claimed, "CPI-M had struck a deal with Mahato
before the last Lok Sabha elections and had meetings with him
at the state secretariat a number of times."