Five Maoists among 82 prisoners writing Bengal board exams

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

KOLKATA - Eightytwo prisoners, including five Maoists, lodged in various correctional homes in West Bengal appeared in the state’s secondary board examination that started Wednesday, an official said.

“Altogether, 82 prison inmates have appeared in the West Bengal Board of Secondary Examination - Madhyamik examination. This is a record in the history of correctional home services department of the state. Last year, only eight prison inmates appeared for the secondary examination,” said Additional Director General and Inspector General of Police (correctional services) B.D. Sharma.

The written examination of Madhyamik will continue till March 7. Around 10.04 lakh examinees, of whom more than 50 percent are girls, Wednesday appeared in the first language paper.

Of the 82 inmates, five were Maoists.

“Maoist leader Santosh Debnath (55), arrested six years ago, is appearing in the exam from Presidency Correctional Home, while Sukhshanti Baskey, the treasurer of the pro-Maoist tribal body - PCAPA (People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities), and his three associates Prasanto Mahato, Dhritiranjan Mahato and Bikash Mahato lodged in Midnapore Central Correctional Home are also appearing for the exam,” Sharma told IANS over phone.

“Of the 82 inmates, 11 are women. Most of the inmates are aged life convicts. The convicts and the undertrials wanted to study and they were provided with books by the correctional home authorities,” he added.

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