Bhubaneswar, Nov 20: A day after extending olive branch to Sabyasachi Panda to surrender, Odisha Police today arrested four of his supporters and claimed that the Maoist leader had sustained injuries during the November 14 encounter while the bandh called by naxal outfits passed off peacefully.
“Besides Panda, two others identified as Nikita and Pradeep have been injured during the encounter. Both Nikita and Panda sustained injuries on hands,” said Suresh
Chandra Parichha, the sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) of R Udaygiri.
Though five persons were killed in the encounter at the tri-junction of Gajapati-Ganjam-Kandhamal last week, Panda could manage to escape from the place of encounter, the SDPO said adding that police confirmed about the injury of the Maoist leader after interrogating four persons from Bhaliaguda village, adjacent to the encounter place inside the jungle.
The arrested persons have also informed the police that Pradeep was being treated at some hidden location, Parichha said.
Police also seized two guns, four bullets and detonators from possession of the four persons, the SDPO said adding that they admitted to have witnessed the encounter from close quarters.
Meanwhile, today's Odisha Bandh, the call for which was given by Panda's Odisha Maovadi Party (OMP), evoked little response across the state though certain pockets in southern districts witnessed some disruption in transport system.
OMP's bandh call surprisingly got support of the CPI(Maoaist)'s Bansadhar and Ghumusar divisions. The CPI(Maoist), however, gave a bandh call in only four districts of Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada and Kandhamal.