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Top Naxal leader arrested in Odisha

Top Naxal leader arrested in Odisha
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Top Naxal leader arrested in Odisha, Top Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda was arrested on Friday at Berhampur in Odisha\'s Ganjam district in what is being billed as a major success for the state police.

Bhubaneswar: Top Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda was arrested on Friday at Berhampur in Odisha's Ganjam district in what is being billed as a major success for the state police.

Acting on intelligence information, a police team nabbed the 48-year-old fugitive rebel leader after raiding a hideout in Berhampur city on Thursday, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told the state Assembly today.

After the arrest of Panda, the chief minister was briefed about the development by top officials, including Director General of Police Sanjeev Marik.

The arrest of the hardcore rebel leader is a major achievement for the state police, Marik said.

Sabyasachi Panda alias Sunil alias Sarat, who formed Odisha Maobadi Party in 2012 after being expelled from CPI-Maoist, was allegedly involved in over two dozen cases, including the attack on Nayagarh armoury in 2008 in which 14 police personnel were killed.

A graduate in Mathematics, Panda had joined CPI (Maoist) in late 1990s and played an active role in the banned outfit to become the Secretary of Odisha State Organising Committee of Maoists. He was also an accused in the gunning down of VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati and his four disciples at an ashram in communally sensitive Kandhamal district in August 2008, police said. The killing had triggered largescale violence and riots in Kandhamal and elsewhere in Odisha.

Panda, who virtually controlled Naxal activities for several years in south Odisha, including Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Nayagarh and Rayagada districts, was also involved in an attack on R Udayagiri jail, police said.

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