Rights group slams arrest of Maoist mediator

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 09, 2013 17:40 hrs

Bhubaneswar, Feb 9 (IANS) People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) Saturday condemned the arrest of Dandapani Mohanty, who negotiated with the Maoists and helped the Odisha government to resolve two abduction crises in the past.

PUCL state convenor Pramodini Pradhan said the way the Odisha Police arrested Mohanty, violating all rules pertaining to arrest and detention, showed their highhandedness.

"Mohanty's arrest at this juncture raises several questions which the state government must answer," she said.

Police officer C.S. Meena said at least six non-bailable warrants were pending against Mohanty.

"He was also found to be involved in more than a dozen criminal cases mostly related to Left-wing violence, including murder, blast, abduction, rioting," the official added.

Mohanty, who is an elderly communist leader and is known for his fight on rights related issues, has been critical of the government functioning, especially in recent months after his engineer son Sangram was arrested in December last year on the charge of supplying arms to the rebels.

Police slapped five cases against Sangram, including a rape case, earlier this week.

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