Rayagada cops take Mili into custody

BHUBANESWAR: Just two days after Orissa high court quashed legal proceedings initiated by a lower court against Subhashree Panda alias Mili, Rayagada police on Friday took her in custody in connection with her alleged involvement in a 2003 encounter case.

Subhashree, wife of the top Maoist leader Sabyasachi, was whisked away by policemen in a van from the Jharpada special jail here early in the morning. She had been languishing in prison ever since she was arrested here on charges of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in January 2010.

SP (Rayagada) Anoop Krishna said Subhashree was a prime accused in the 2003 case when an exchange of fire had taken place between police and Maoists in a forest near Gudari. “Her husband Sabyasachi and 31 others were also involved in the case. Cases were registered against all the accused persons and charge-sheet was submitted in court,” Krishna said. Only six persons were arrested then, he added. Sources said some of the arrested persons were acquitted in the case recently.

Subhashree was produced at the court of sub-divisional judicial magistrate in Gunupur on Friday and forwarded to judicial custody till October 25, sources said.

Her counsel, Biswapriya Kanungo, said, “She was falsely implicated in the case. She was never communicated about the old case earlier. Police never tried to take her in remand in the last one-and-a-half years.”

The SP, however, maintained, “It purely depended on the court. Now the court asked us to produce her in the 2003 case.” Asked whether police had earlier sought her remand, Krishna said, “We had earlier prayed to the court.”

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