Orissa State Crime Branch on Monday arrested three persons, believed to be Maoists, in connection with the killing of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four others. They were arrested from Tumudibandh, about 135-km from the district headquarters Phulbani.
Orissa DGP MM Praharaj told HT, “The three have confessed to killing the Swami. The police have enough evidence against them. More arrests will be made soon.” Crime Branch investigating officer PK Panda said, “Those arrested have admitted to being Maoists. Two guns, black masks and three sets of black clothes have been recovered from them.”
The three have been identified as Duryodhan Sunamajhi, Munda Badamajhi and Sanatana Badamajhi. They were presented before a court in Baliguda, about 70-km from Phulbani. Police will take them on remand on Tuesday.
The arrests were made two days after a senior CPI-Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda owned up responsibility for the killing. The VHP and Bajrang Dal have been demanding the arrest of the Swami’s killers.
Meanwhile, the Kandhamal police have arrested 503 persons in connection with the violence there. Also, 348 cases have been registered against the riot perpetrators. Official figures show that 15,000 people are living in relief camps after their homes were set on fire.
Nun rape case
Orissa Government has decided to send a police team to Delhi to trace the nun, who was allegedly raped in Kandhamal on August 25. The nun, missing since the incident, had reportedly taken shelter at a Delhi church. She was, however, not found when the Additional Resident Commissioner M Satyanarayan went there on Sunday night, Home Secretary TK Mishra said.