Maoist Leader Sabyasachi Panda Arrested
In a major breakthrough, the Odisha Police have arrested Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda from Brahmapur city Thursday night. Panda was the head of a new outfit called the CPI-Marxist-Leninist-Maoist (CPI-MLM). Although the plan to nab Sabyasachi Panda was launched a year ago by then DGP Prakash Mihsra, who weakened him and his network to a great extent, the credit went to new New DGP Sanjeev Marik. It can be recalled that Panda was injured in an encounter a few months ago.
Sabyasachi Panda was reportedly hiding inside a house at Bada Bazar in Brahmapur. The special police team led by DIG and SP of Brahmapur raised the house at around 1 AM in the night to arrest him. The police team recovered Rs 2 lakh cash, a laptop, 10 cell phones and 500g gold from him. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik heaved a sigh of relief at Sabyasachi’s arrest.
Panda, who had been active as a Maoist since 1995, is the prime accused in the gruesome murder of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati in Kandhamal. He has 61 cases pending against him. Sabyasachi Panda and his team had killed 34 civilians and 25 security personnel. He was also involved in the abduction of two Italian tourists in 2012 and the attack on Nayagarh district armoury in March 2008.
According to experts, Sabyasachi’s arrest may not have any impact on the Maoist activities in Odisha, as he was completely isolated and left with no aides after the crackdown launched on him in the last 12 months. The Odisha Police may take credit for his arrest, but many sources believe that it was Sabyasachi, who himself laid the trap for his arrest to avoid an encounter death.