Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, July 20
The timing and the circumstances under which the arrest of the elusive top Odisha Maoist Sabyasachi Panda was carried out by the Brahmapur police on the midnight of Thursday has raised several questions in many quarters, including the state and Central police circles.
According to a source, the information that Sabyasachi was holed up in a house in Brahmapur was known to a select few police officers, days before the change of guard at the police headquarters. However, for mysterious reasons, the information was kept under wraps and efforts were made to ensure the news does not reach some senior police officials who needed to be kept in the loop, the source told OST.
The house in Mangalbarampet in Brahmapur’s Bada Bazar area was kept under surveillance for a few days, another source said, until the final nod came from the top.
The same source told OST that the Odisha police team monitoring Sabyasachi’s movements and mobile phone calls had reasons to suspect that Sabyasachi had moved out of his jungle camp at least six weeks ago. They then started an operation to locate him at different places based on earlier information on his favourite haunts.
According to sources it was a relatively senior IPS officer who finally managed to zero in on the hide-out of the fugitive ultra in Brahmapur. However, it is unclear when he got to know about it and who did he pass the information to.
There are also reports that a person, who acted as Sabyasachi’s advisor and was in constant touch with him, helped the police trace him out. This person, sources said, had advised Sabyasachi against giving up his jungle life when the Gandhians appealed to the Maoist leader to join the mainstream last year.
However, sources suspect, it was this man, who finally tipped off police about Sabyasachi’s whereabouts to escape harassment in future for his dubious links with the ultras. It is unclear, however, if Sabyasachi had an inkling of the shape of things that awaited him.
There are reports that the political bosses were opposed to the idea of securing the arrest or surrender of Sabyasachi Panda and Nachika Linga before the general elections because a section of the ruling party felt “that would be politically inconvenient”.
That explains why Nachika Linga’s ‘declared move’ to join the mainstream before the last elections was ‘sabotaged’, sources within the ruling party admitted.
They were also not keen on arresting Sabyasachi or facilitating his return to the mainstream, until recently, because he was unwilling to play ball and help the police implicate certain individuals who were in the state government’s ‘bad books.’
But the answer to why the police arrested or attacked the wanted Maoist leader now and not earlier- when it was eminently possible – lurks in the realm of mystery as of now.
The truths- including sinister details – about ‘Operation Sabyasachi’ will tumble out, sources told OST, sooner than later and expose the roles played by certain individuals in the whole game.