BHUBANESWAR: The State BJP on Thursday demanded a probe by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) into the circumstances leading to the arrest of dreaded Maoist Sabyasachi Panda.
Alleging a nexus between the Maoist leader and leaders of the ruling BJD including Ministers, president of BJP’s State unit KV Singhdeo said the ongoing investigation by the State police will not lead to a logical conclusion. The investigation should be handed over to a Central investigating agency to go into the bottom of the case.
Even though a lower court has ordered that the lawyer and family members of Panda should be allowed during his interrogation, police have taken all measures not to allow them during the quizzing so that they do not spill the beans about the nexus, Singhdeo alleged.
The BJP leader said he will take up the matter with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and request him for probe by a Central agency such as the NIA.
Justifying the demand for an investigation by a Central agency, Singhdeo said though Sabyasachi’s crimes were limited within the State border, the Red rebel had kidnapped Italian tourists and killed Swami Laxamananada Saraswati in Kandhamal resulting in riots. “The two events had international ramifications. So, it is a fit case to be probed by a national agency,” he said.
Expressing doubts over Panda’s arrest, Singhdeo said the arrest was stage managed by the police as a top Maoist leader is never alone.
“It is not acceptable to us that he (Sabyasachi) was caught with a pistol,” he remarked.
“It was an attempt to deflect the attention of people from the scams which had put the Government in a tight corner in the Assembly. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is applying such tactics when his Government is in trouble,” Singhdeo said.
The abduction of IAS officer Vineel Krishna and two Italian tourists and now the arrest of Panda all happened when the Assembly was in session, he said.