Two Maoists arrested; Panda escapes

 Though top Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda escaped, two ultras were arrested during a raid on their camp by security forces in the forests near Salima Gochha in Odisha’s Ganjam district, the police said on Sunday.

Bhupati Mohanta alias Gobinda (22) of Tanagarapada and Govinda Moharana (22) of Tambhara village of Keonjhar district were arrested from the spot on Saturday while Panda and others fled amid heavy gunbattle between security forces and the Maoists, Superintendent of Police, Ganjam, Ashish Kumar Singh said.

Eight to ten cadres including five women were present during the operation, he said.
Bhupati had joined Odisha Maobadi Party (OMP) led by Panda last December and was acting as personal courier of Panda while Govinda was a new cadre in the outfit, he said.

When his organisation becomes gradually weak in the local area, Panda revives it with the help of some people from other districts like Keonjhar, Singh said quoting the arrested cadres.

In the exchange of fire which continued for about 45 minutes, security forces had fired around 250 rounds. The anti-Maoist operation was launched by the Special Operation Group (SOG) and Ganjam police.

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