Bhubaneswar, Dec 26:
Odisha Maobadi Party (OMP) leader Sabyasachi Panda today accused Ganjam police of staging a fake encounter at Indragarh to cover up the custodial death of Pratap Pradhan, who died under mysterious circumstances in the Sadar police station of Phulbani on December 23.
Holding the Ganjam police administration responsible for the death, he demanded the arrest of Ganjam SP Asish Singh and DIG (Southern Range) Amitabh Thakur immediately.
“The so-called exchange of fire between the Maoists and police was an effort to cover up the custodial death of Pradhan. The youth had no link with our party or CPI (Maoist). The exchange of fire was a well orchestrated plan of Ganjam SP and DIG to link the youth with Maoists and cover up the custodial death. The Naveen government should arrest them,” said Panda in an audio clip released to the media.
The Maoist leader also demanded compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the bereaved family of Pradhan.
It is to be noted that DIG Thakur had said that the police had information that some youths posing as Maoists were engaged in extortion on the Kalinga Ghats. A special squad of the police had nabbed Pratap from the spot while his two accomplices had managed to escape.
A senior police official who did not want to be named said the allegations and accusations leveled by the OMP leader were baseless and imaginary.