Kolkata: Pro-Maoist tribal group, the Peoples' Committee Against Police Atrocities convener Chhatradhar Mahato and three others were on Monday convicted under various laws including the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act by a West Bengal court.
"Mahato, along with Sukhsanti Baske, Sambhu Soren and Sagun Murmu, was convicted by the court of additional sessions judge (West Midnapore) Kaveri Bose," said the accused's counsel Mrinal Kanti Chowdhury.
"Besides the UAPA, they have been convicted under various provisions of the IPC dealing with murder, criminal conspiracy, waging war against the state and various other sections of the Arms Act and the Explosives Act," said the counsel.
Besides the four, Raja Sarkhel and Prasun Chatterjee - two other PCAPA members - have been charged with sedition.
"The quantum of punishment will be decided by the court on Tuesday," said Chowdhury.
Before his arrest in 2009, Mahato was one of the prominent faces of Maoist-backed tribal resistance in West Midnapore district's Lalgarh area - about 200 kms west of Kolkata - against the erstwhile Left Front government.
Lalgarh was on the boil for over two years since November 2, 2008, when a landmine exploded on the route of the convoy of then state chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and central ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitin Prasada.
Complaining of police atrocities after the blast, angry tribals egged on by the Maoists launched an agitation virtually cutting off the area from the rest of the district.
The agitators torched CPI-M offices, drove away its supporters and forced police to leave, thereby establishing a virtual free zone.
In June 2009, joint forces comprising central paramilitary troopers and crack teams of state police reclaimed the areas and conducted intense operations to flush out the left wing ultras.
There were a spate of arrests while a number of PCAPA and Maoist leaders were killed in shootouts with the secuirty forces.
Mahato was nabbed on September 26, 2009.
The movement gradually died down.
The tribal leader had also participated in rallies by Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee before her party came to power in 2011.
"Today those who are in power were associated with the movement. They accept the movement but are convicting those who were behind it," Mahato told media persons after his conviction.