Police in Orissa have for the first time circulated photographs of two Maoist leaders, allegedly involved in over 30 criminal cases including the killing of Hindu leader Laxmanananda Saraswati, and announced rewards for information on their whereabouts.
Hundreds of posters with photographs of Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) leaders Sabyasachi Panda and Duna Keshab Rao were Sunday pasted in several places in southern Orissa's Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal and Rayagada districts, police said.
Describing the two as wanted for their involvement in several heinous crimes, the posters promise a reward for those providing information and promise anonymity.
Panda, 42, is secretary of the Orissa unit of the CPI-Maoist and Rao is the outlawed group's military commander.
"It is the first time police have circulated photos after proper verification of their identity," a police official said.
"They were responsible for carrying out a series of attacks in the state. They are wanted in over 30 criminal cases, including murder, arson, loot and extortions."
Included in this is attack on a police training school in Nayagarh town, about 85 km from here, on Feb 15, 2008 when 14 people were killed.
According to police, the two were also involved in the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati in Kandhamal, about 200 km from here, on Aug 23, 2008. Panda had claimed responsibility for the killing that had triggered anti-Christian attacks in the state that killed at least 38 people.
Officials said Panda, a native of Mayurjhalia village in Nayagarh, changes his names frequently. Some of his nom de plumes have been Prabir Das, Sunil, Sarat, Sunit, Suman and Ankit.
His wife Saswati Das alias Mili Panda was arrested Jan 15 from a house on the outskirts of the state capital. The photographs of the two leaders were found during a raid in the house.
Rao is from Nalagoduluru village in Andhra Pradesh's Srikakulam district and is also known as Azad, Anand, and Mahesh amongst others, a police official said.