In a setback to senior Maoist leader and secretary of Orissa State Organising Committee Sabyasachi Panda,one of his bodyguards,Prasant Majhi alias Susant,surrendered before the police in Gajapati district on Friday.
The 23-year-old Majhi joined the Maoists in 2005 after being influenced by a cadre. He claimed to be Pandas bodyguard for the past two years.
Majhi,who belonged to Tudukapanka village in R Udayagiri area,said he joined the Maoists while he was in Class 10. He underwent training in at least six camps in Gajapati and Kandhamal district in jungle warfare and handling of weapons like INSAS rifle,AK-47,sten gun and 9mm pistol.
Gajapati SP Sarthak Sarangi said Majhi was involved in the killing of two village guards of Katama village,blasting of a forest beat house at Panigada two years ago among other offences. However,Majhi claimed he was not involved in the abduction of the two Italians,for which Panda had claimed responsibility.
Sarangi said Majhi deserted the Maoist path as he believed that they have deviated from their ideology and the leaders and cadres from other states,particularly,Chhattisgarh are perpetrating atrocities on Oriya cadres. He claimed that the cadres are forcibly asked to marry. Sarangi said Majhi would be rehabilitated as per the state governments policy for surrendered Maoists.
In another development,a woman Maoist leader,Sini Soy,was arrested from a forest in Jajpur district. The 54-year-old Maoist was involved in several crimes including abduction of a police officer and attack o’n Daitary police station in Keonjhar district.
Soys son Bhagaban was among the 13 tribals killed in police firing in Kalinga Nagar area of Jajpur in January 2006. After the firing,Soy joined the Maoists to avenge the killing of her son and acted as chief commander of Kalinga Nagar division.
Contractor killed in Malkangiri
A day after the Maoists killed a farmer in Koraput district,the rebels killed a contractor in Malkangiri district on Friday by slitting his throat. The body of contractor Subala Sil (50) was found on the canal embankment near Supalu road,inspector-in-charge of Kalimela police station Aniruddha Routray said. The Maoists had earlier warned him by putting up posters on the embankment asking him not to undertake repair works without their permission.