KRISHNAGAR, Feb. 7. - Apprehensive about the ongoing hunger strike by six Maoist prisoners, the Nadia jail administration has shifted top Maoist leader Mr Ashok Sarkar alias Chandi Sarkar from Krishnagar Central Jail to Behrampur Jail overnight.
Mr Sarkar’s fellow Maoist prisoners, however, have continued with their fast unto death inside Krishnagar Central Jail, sticking to their demand for the status of political prisoners.
Mrs Mahamaya Sarkar, wife of Mr Ashok Sarkar, alleged today that the Krishnagar jail administration had intentionally shifted her husband to Behrampur to dismiss the ongoing movement that he had been spearheading inside the jail.
She alleged that she could not meet her husband owing to his being shifted in spite of her having a legal right to meet him once a week.
Six Maoist prisoners, led by the senior leader and former Bengal hockey player, Mr Sarkar, had proceeded on a fast unto death stir inside Krishnagar Central Jail from yesterday. Apart from demanding the status of political prisoners, the prisoners on strike had also alleged gross anomalies in the jail’s services, especially with regard to services provided to the jail’s inmates.
In this regard, the Maoist prisoners had also shot off a letter to the vice-president of Association for Protection of Democratic Rights, Mr Tapas Chakraborty, on Sunday informing him about their decision to go on a hunger strike till they were treated as political prisoners.
Mr Chakraborty identified the Maoists undertaking the fast unto death as Mr Ashok Sarkar (alias Chandi), Mr Sabyasachi Goswami, Mr Mantu Chatterjee, Mr Manirul Haque, Mr Israfil Sheikh and Mr Tofajjel. All were charge-sheeted under Acts pertaining to sedition and illegal possession of arms.
While the administration did not confirm the strike yesterday, the additional district magistrate (general) of Nadia, Mr Rajesh Sinha, today conceded that a hunger strike was on in the jail and said : Four prisoners are on a hunger strike while one - Chandi Sarkar - was shifted to Behrampur jail yesterday. The authorities are trying to motivate the rest so that they agree to take their food.
A source in the jail said : The Maoist prisoners did not turn up to take their food today and they were very much adamant to carry forward their strike till they are treated as political prisoners.
A team comprising members of Bondi Mukti Committee and APDR is likely to visit Krishnagar Central Jail tomorrow.