Security forces have intensified combing operation to nab top Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda after three arrested women members of Odisha Maobadi Party (OMP), led by the rebel leader, revealed he was shot at in a recent encounter.
Police arrested three women rebels and unearthed a huge cache of arms and ammunition along Ganjam-Gajapati border. Nikita alias Minati Majhi, Dandingi Antia alias Dandingi Majhi and Sukanti Majhi alias Jhunu were nabbed by police three days back from a camp in Mukhi jungle near Gajapati's Dimbiripankala village.
"We are hot on the trail of Sabyasachi in both the districts," DIG (southern range) Amitav Thakur said. The women ultras said Sabyasachi took a bullet on his thigh during an exchange of fire between security personnel and extremists at Salimagochha in Ganjam two weeks ago.
Dealing a body blow to Sabyasachi, police have arrested six of his aides, including the women cadres, in recent raids and encounters.
"Basing on intelligence inputs, combing has been intensified along Ganjam-Gajapati border," said SP (Ganjam) Ashish Kumar Singh. The operation would continue till his arrest, said SP (Gajapati) C S Meena.
Sabyasachi carries a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh on his head in Odisha. The Andhra Pradesh government has also announced same amount on his head.
Sabyasachi floated OMP in April, 2011 after falling out with the outlawed CPI (Maoist).