Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar/ Brahmapur, July 19:
Was the Odisha Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda subjected to physical torture after his arrest ?
Panda, who was produced today, for the second time before the court after his arrest, for the hearing on the police plea to take him on remand, told the Sub-divisional judicial magistrate (SDJM) Brahmapur in the court room today that he was kicked and punched by the police during and after his arrest.
He said he had pain in his jaws as a result of the punches he received on his face, Panda’s wife Subhashree (Mily) Panda told OST.
However, it is unclear if his statement has been duly recorded by the magistrate or not, she said.
“The bruise marks and red patches on his face and around his left eye, as seen in the first pictures circulated across the media on Friday, seem to suggest that he was tortured. The face was so badly swollen that even I could not recognise him . Even his mother found it hard to believe it’s her son’s photograph,” Ms Panda said.
Sabyasachi’s wife also said the police resorted to falsehood when they informed the court that the arrested ultra had been identified by his family members. The police said this in response to a query over the authenticity of his identification.
“My mother-in-law, I and my daughter went to Brahmapur today to see him. We were not informed about his arrest until 4.30 pm on Friday- that is when the SDPO Brahmapur called me up to ask me to reach the court where he would be produced. Obviously, I could not have made it in time because Brahmapur is 180 kms away from Bhubaneswar. We were not allowed to meet him today. So, when did we identify him,” she asked.
“My husband is on a fast since his arrest to protest the violation of the Jail Manual by the prison authorities,” she informed.