Kolkata: As the West Bengal government
insists that arrested PCPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato has links
with Maoists, Magsaysay awardee writer Mahasweta Devi on Tuesday
said she was not aware of his Maoist connections.
"I am unaware whether Chhatradhar is a Maoist. Once, he
came to my house with a group of women and crew of a TV
channel. When I was told that the women were Maoists, I drove
away all of them, including Chhatradhar," she said.
Mahasweta said she had, however, met Mahato several times
and "in all the meetings, I asked him to campaign against
SEZs, or to demand ration cards for the poor."
On Sunday, the writer had said the intellectuals would
organise a rally in the city in support of Mahato.
Yesterday, asked whether intellectuals like Mahasweta
Devi would be arrested for their reported links with Mahato,
state Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen had evaded a direct reply,
saying if evidence was found of anyone`s association with
Mahato, he or she would be questioned.