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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

PUCL condemns Odisha for arresting its negotiator

Priya Ranjan Sahu, Hindustan Times  Bhubaneswar, February 10, 2013
First Published: 00:14 IST(10/2/2013) | Last Updated: 10:39 IST(10/2/2013)

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) on Saturday condemned the arrest of rights activist Dandapani Mohanty for his alleged involvement in Maoist activities.

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The organisation came down heavily on the Odisha government for “misusing its power to harass anybody who it found too uncomfortable”.

“The Odisha police violated all rules pertaining to arrest and detention and showed its high-handedness and utter disregard for the law of land while arresting Mohanty,” said Promodini Pradhan, convenor, PUCL-Odisha.

Pointing out that some of the cases against Mohanty were related to incidents that took place in 2009 and 2010, Pradhan asked why the police did not arrest him when there were serious charges against him. “How come the state government accepted his role as an interlocutor for the release of Malkangiri collector R Vineel Krishna in 2011 and the two Italians in 2012, when Mohanty had murder charges against him?” she asked.

The police, however, said there were over 15 cases against Mohanty including that of murder and extortion.

Pradhan wondered if the cases had been slapped to silence Mohanty, who had been quite vocal about alleged repression of tribals by security forces in the name of fighting Maoists.

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