Police hyped top Maoistís insurance cover

Just four days after arresting People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) leader Chhatradhar Mahato on September 26, the state DGP had announced at a press conference that the tribal leader had an LIC policy worth Rs 1 crore, a house in Mayurbhanj in Orissa and owned illegal arms.

Less than a month and a half later, it turns out while Mahato indeed has a life insurance policy, it's worth just Rs 77,000, according to a source in the state CID, who said the tribal leader paid a premium of Rs 1,200 per annum for it.

As for the property in Mayurbhanj, the CID is still looking for evidence to back its claim. All that has been established so far is that Mahato owns four bighas of land in Lalgarh. The police have also not been able to produce the arms they had claimed to have recovered from Mahato.

On September 30, DGP Bhupindar Singh announced that Mahato had confessed during interrogation that he had an insurance policy worth Rs 1 crore and that he had also paid two premiums for it. The DGP also claimed Mahato had told interrogators about his Mayurbhanj house.

On Thursday, a senior CID officer, who did not wish to be named, said: "During interrogation, Mahato told us he has an LIC policy, but he did not mention the amount. After investigation, we have found he has a policy of Rs 77,000. He gives Rs 1,200 as premium for the policy every year. This apart, no documents about Mahato having property in Mayurbhanj have been found as yet."

Meanwhile, defence counsel for Mahato Kaushik Sinha, said: "Whatever claim the DGP made about the accounts and the property of Mahato were false. When the claims were challenged in the court, the police failed to produce any evidence in the support of their claim. Moreover, the ACJM court in Jhargram has found several discrepancies in the seizure list submitted by the police."

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