IN a major break through the former secretary of the Odisha unit of the outlawed Communist Party of India (CPI-Maoist), Sabyasachi Panda has been arrested from the Ganjam district, media reports. Declared as most wanted Panda, was the Odisha’s most powerful Maoist leader and was alleged to be involved in Nayagarh arms loot, VHP leader Laxmananda Saraswati’s murder and abduction of two Italian tourists.
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik and Director General of Police Sanjeev Marik confirmed about arrest of Panda. He was arrested late night on Thursday from Berhampur city area in Ganjam district during a combing operation.
Who is Panda?
Panda is a son of a freedom fighter and three-time CPI (M) MLA from Ranpur. He is a graduate in mathematics from Puri’s Samant Chandra Shekhar government college. He is married to Subhashree alias Mili Panda who has launched her own political party called Ama Odisha.
- Panda had floated his own outfit ‘Odisha Maoist Party’ (OMP -Marxist-Leninist-Maoist)).
- Panda is wanted in more than 50 criminal cases.
- He is involved in the murder of Swami Laxamananda Saraswati and four of his aides in Kandhamal district in 2008.
- Panda came in lime light in 2012 when he abducted two Italian tourists in 2012. While one of them was set free, the other one – Paolo Bosusco – was released after 29 days in captivity.