BHUBANESWAR: In a major achievement for Odisha police, top Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda wanted in over 60 criminal cases, has been arrested prompting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to appeal to Naxals to eschew violence and join the mainstream.
Sabyasachi, who carried a reward of Rs five lakh on his head, was active in the Maoist movement for more than two decades, the chief minister said adding he was the guiding spirit behind formation of Chasi Mulia Samiti and Kui Lawenga Sangha in 1995 in Rayagada and Gajapati districts.
Stating that these organizations were the foundation for spreading Maoist network in those areas, Patnaik said Panda was the founder of Bansadhara and Ghumusur Divisions of Odisha State Committee (OSC) and Secretary of Odisha State Organizing Committee (OSOC) of CPI (Maoist) till 2012.
The top Maoist was operating in Southern Odisha including the districts of Rayagada, Gajapati, Ganjam, Kandhamal and Nayagarh.
Sabyasachi was involved in numerous sensational cases like the Nayagarh and R Udayagiri armory loot, killing of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, abduction of two Italian nationals and blowing up of ambulance in Kandhamal besides, overall involvement in killing of 25 security personnel and 34 civilians, the chief minister said.
“I am sure this August House will join me in congratulating all the police personnel particularly the Intelligence Wing and Berhampur police who participated in this operation,” he said adding state government would reward the police personnel for this “spectacular achievement.”
“I also take opportunity to appeal to the Maoists to shed violence and join the mainstream,” Patnaik said. (More) PTI AAM SKN CR Describing the arrest of Panda as a major success, Director General of Police Sanjeev Marik said the arrest was made from a house in Badabazar area of Berhampur in Ganjam district in an operation conducted on the basis of intelligence inputs.
There was no exchange of fire, the DGP said adding a revolver, Rs two lakh cash, 500 gm gold, ten mobile phones, two hard discs and five pendrives were seized from Panda.
The arrest of Sabyasachi would act as a major boost to the anti-naxal operations as he was a prominent Maoist leader, Marik said.
“The arrest will send a clear message to the red rebels about the need to shun the path of violence and return to the mainstream,” the DGP said.
Stating that Sabyasachi faced 61 cases involving 59 murders and other offences, he said there were 21 cases in Rayagada district, 25 cases in Gajapati, nine in Nayagarh, three in Kandhamal, two in Ganjam and one in Berhampur.
The fugitive rebel leader, aged around 48 years, was being interrogated in an effort to obtain information about Maoist activities in the region, he said.
Sabyasachi alias Sunil alias Sarat was also known as Suman, Ankit, Santosh and Buddha at different places and periods, police said.
Sabyasachi had formed Odisha Maobadi Party in 2012 after being expelled from CPI-Maoist.
A graduate in Mathematics, Sabyasachi controlled the Naxal activities for several years virtually in entire south Odisha including Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Nayagarh and Rayagada districts.
Sabyasachi had turned down several proposals to surrender before the police –PTI