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Maoist mediator in net

Berhampur, Feb. 8: Convenor of Jana Adhikar Manch Dandapani Mohanty was arrested from his Shanti Nagar residence here this afternoon.

He was taken to R Udaygiri to be produced in court amid tight security, police officials here said.

Mohanty had mediated with the government on behalf of Maoists for the release of two Italian nationals last year and then Malkangiri collector R Vineel Krishna in 2011.

“Dandapani Mohanty is involved in 15 cases. While non-bailable warrants had been issued against him in six cases, nine other cases are pending. The police have prima facie evidence against him in all the cases,” said deputy inspector general of police (southern range) Amitav Thakur.

Thakur said Mohanty was a conspirator in blasting a police patrol vehicle at Andharighat under Adaba police station in Gajapati district on February 16, 2009.

He had a role in the torching of four government buses at Raipanka on November 27, the blasting of forest beat house at Paniganda on July 10 and torching of mobile towers at Raipanka on November 27, all in 2009, said the DIG.

Mohanty was also implicated in Maoist-police encounter, assault on a sweeper, torching of mobile towers and murder of one Dinabandhu Mantri by the Maoists at Katama as well as distribution of Maoist literature and guns. “He was a co-conspirator in all these cases,” said Thakur.

Mohanty’s wife Gitanjali, however, claimed that he had been kidnapped. “Four or five persons in plain clothes came in a four-wheeler to our house around 3.20 pm when we were about to have lunch. They forcibly took away my husband and when I opposed, they pushed me to a corner. They did not even allow my husband to wear his slippers and spectacles. The food is still lying on the dining table and I am waiting for his return,” she said.

On December 5 last year, police had arrested Mohanty’s son Sangram for alleged involvement in various Maoist activities.