A Behrampur Sessions court on Friday ordered that a family member or an authorised advocate of Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda should not hear the conversation between Panda and the police during interrogation.
The ruling came on a revision petition challenging an earlier order of Berhampur’s Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate P K Behera who had allowed Panda’s advocate, family or friends to be present during interrogation.
“The court suggested that there could be a glass wall between the two during Panda’s interrogation. It said he should be fully visible to his kin or advocate during the interrogation,” Panda’s advocate Deepak Kumar Patnaik said.
Meanwhile Panda, who has been in police custody since July 19, has written a letter to the Berhampur District and Sessions judge alleging that that there is a threat to his life. While Panda was not produced in court for the hearing due to security reasons, the letter was read out, and submitted, to the judge by his advocate.
In his letter, Panda prayed for adherence to the guidelines issued by the SDJM court for his interrogation and urged that his fundamental right as per the Constitution not be curbed.
Panda alleged he was beaten up after his arrest. “Police officers from different districts are interrogating me. They do not have name plates… My life is danger when none from my family is present during my interrogations,” he said.
Arrest not drama but sincere effort: Naveen
A day after opposition BJP alleged that the arrest of Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda was stage-managed, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said his government believed in “sincere, committed hard work” and not “drama”.
The state BJP president K V Singhdeo had alleged on Thursday that Panda’s arrest was stage managed to divert attention from the scams which had put the government in a tight corner in Assembly. He had demanded a probe by the NIA into links between Maoists and leaders of the ruling BJD.
In his reply to a debate on the demand for grants of the Home and General Administration departments, Naveen said, “People of our state know the commitment and sincerity with which my government deals with issues concerning the state, including Left Wing Extremism. It is because of the sustained, intelligent hard work, along with valour and sacrifice of Orissa Police, that today Sabyasachi Panda is behind bars.” (ENS)
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