The Odisha police on Wednesday arrested Sangram Mohanty, son of social activist Dandapani Mohanty – negotiator for the release of former Malkangiri collector R Vineel Krishna in 2011 and two Italian citizens in 2012 from Maoist captivity – for alleged Naxal activities.
“Sangram was caught red-handed while he was delivering a packet to a courier from Kamalapur in Gajapati district (about 250 km southwest of Bhubaneswar). We recovered two automatic US made pistols and about 90 rounds of ammunition meant for Maoists from him,” Gajapati district superintendent of police CS Meena told the Hindustan Times.
Refuting police claims, Dandapani Mohanty said plainclothes policemen abducted his son from Berhampur city area (in Ganjam district) while he was returning home from a garage. “This is a conspiracy by the police to suppress me as I have always raised my voice against police atrocities and killings of innocent in fake encounters,” Mohanty said.
Mohanty, convenor of Jan Adhikar Manch, came to limelight after the abduction of Krishna who was abducted by the Maoists in 2011. The Odisha government asked him to mediate with Maoist along with two other mediators.
In March this year, the state government had again chosen Mohanty to negotiate the release of two Italians Paolo Bosusco and Claudio Colangelo abducted by Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda.
Mohanty however had been very critical of the government for “going back on its promises and arresting innocent people branding them as Maoists”.
After the police claimed to have gunned down five of Panda’s men in an encounter on November 14, Mohanty slammed the police for “cold blooded murder of innocents” and organised a mass demonstration in November 30.