Man held in Gujarat for links to Bengal derailment culprits

Ahmedabad, May 31 (IANS) Ahmedabad police Monday arrested a voluntary organisation worker suspected to be linked to those behind Friday’s derailment in Jhargram in West Bengal, evoking sharp reactions from social activists here.

Srinivas Sutaipa Kurappati, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, was arrested from Ghodasar area in the labour-dominated Gomtipur locality in old Ahmedabad for his alleged links with Maoist organisations, police said.

Police claimed that though he was living in Ahmedabad for over five years and was working with a voluntary organisation, he maintained contacts with Maoist groups.

The police suspect his connections with the Maoist group allegedly involved in Friday’s train tragedy near Jhargram in West Bengal which left at least 148 dead.

Meanwhile, Ahmedabad’s social activists and members of the civil society have strongly condemned the arrest.

In a statement Monday night, social organisations said Kurappati’s wife Hansaben was not only interrogated but illegally harassed after dusk Sunday.

‘Above all, we also condemn the illegal interrogation and detention of Shree Ambubhai, an associate of Kurappati. For the last 25-30 years, Ambubhai has worked amongst the poor and marginalised people of Ahmedabad. Hansaben is also a social worker,’ the statement said.

‘We demand an answer from the authorities for engaging in acts aimed at spoiling the name of social activists who take up the cause of the poor and marginalised,’ it said.

The statement was signed by Saroop Dhruv (Darshan), Hiren Gandhi (Darshan), I. P. Dalsaniya (Swabhiman Andolan), Ansari Shehnaz (Aman Samuday), Waqar Kazi (Anhad), Hozefa Ujjaini (Aman Samuday), Nirmal Minj (Janvikas), Keshavbhai Patil (Aman Samuday), Natwar Desai (Lok Kala Manch), Ashwin Vaghela (Lok Kala Manch), Mahesh Parmar (B.S.P) Fr. Cedric Prakash (Prashant), Bharatsinh Zala (Kranti – Kisan Adhikar Manch), Noorjahan (Niswan), Rehana (Parwaj Sangathan), Firoz (Parwaj Sangathan), Gaurang Raval (Drishti), Valjibhai Patel (Council of Social Justice) and Ateet Barot (Drishti).