Odisha’s most wanted Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda arrested today during combing operations, reports said. Police DG Sanjeev Marik is likely to make an announcement in this regard very soon, reports added.
Some sources say the Ganjam police led by SP Ashish Singh were able to arrest him from his hideout in Brahmapur city and that the formal announcement would be made later, during the day, by the chief minister in the Assembly and followed up by a press briefing by the DGP.
Panda had hit international headlines in 2012 after he engineered the kidnapping of two Italians. He was expelled by the CPI(Maoist) soon after.
He was also wanted in more than 50 criminal cases, including the murder of Swami Laxamananda Saraswati and four of his aides in Kandhamal district in 2008 that had triggered communal violence in the region.
The hunt for Panda was intensified recently after he floated a new party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist). The aim behind the creation of the new party was to bring like-minded “revolutionaries” on a single platform.