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Did Odisha’s radical tribal leader Nachika Linga surrender or was he arrested ?

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Reported by Ranjan Rath
Koraput/Narayanpatna, Oct 28:

There is complete confusion over whether the top leader of the Narayanpatna-based radical tribal outfit Chasi Mulia Adviasi Sangh (CMAS) in Odisha’s Koraput district surrendered or was arrested.

The DIG of the Border Security Force (BSF) Jay Nayak told the Odisha Sun Times that Linga was arrested along with four of his supporters by the BSF from Taladanga village under Narayanpatna block when he was taking part in a CMAS meeting. He said two teams of the BSF were sent to Taladanga this afternoon after receiving information about the meeting from its own internal intelligence sources.

Nachika Linga
Nachika Linga

Nayak said the BSF teams surrounded the meeting place and ensured Nachika LInga and his closest supporters were nabbed.

Apart from Linga, Gekuru Sirika of Dekapadu village, Birigu Wadeka of Bhaliabata village, Huluka Kandru of Dasnaput village and Alugu Wadeka of Tingnapur village were arrested from the spot and all of them were interrogated at the BSF camp in Narayanpatna before being handed over to the police, Nayak said.

On the other hand, while briefing media persons in Koraput this evening, the Inspector General of Police (south-western range) Yashwant Jethwa claimed that Nachika had surrendered this afternoon in his native village Bhaliaput. He said Nachika was arrested after his surrender because 43 cases and 33 non-bailable arrest warrants (NBW) were pending against him.

Nachika will be produced before the court on Wednesday, he said.

The veracity of either of the versions could not be checked immediately.

Meanwhile, rejecting reports that Nachika had surrendered, prominent social activist Praffulla Samantara said the radical tribal leader was arrested by use of force from his village in Bhaliaguda and demanded that he be released immediately because he headed an outfit that is not banned by the government. He also alleged that the police had slapped a large number of false cases against him.

Tribal rights activist and spokesperson of CPI-ML (New Democracy) Bhala Chandra Sarangi said Nachika has been a victim of false propaganda by the police. ” He was involved in an open movement in support of genuine rights and demands of the local tribal people.

“Nachika was pushed into an underground life after he was falsely branded a Maoist and described as a most wanted criminal. But in reality he had little to do with the Maoists,” Sarangi said, adding ” he should be treated as a leader of a democratic movement.”

The police say the CMAS led by Linga is backed by the Maoists and that it is responsible for carrying out a series of violent incidents with the active collaboration of the red ultras, including the abduction of the then BJD MLA (now MP) Jhina Hikaka in March 2012.