Who are the 8 Maoists?

BHUBANESWAR: Just who are the eight Maoists the State Government on Thursday decided to release? Some of them carried rewards being big fishes of the CPI (Maoist), while others were simple cadres. The two major names among the eight are Murla Neelam Reddy and his wife Setu Pangi, both belonging to East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. Members of the Central Regional Commission of the Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC), the couple were nabbed by Odisha Police on November 10, 2010.

Neelam Reddy is 26 years old, his wife Setu, alias Busha alias Sunita, 22. Both carried rewards on their heads announced by the Andhra Police which had tipped off their Odisha counterparts.

Similarly, Narsi Kendruka and Joruka Kendruka, members of the Srikakulum-Koraput Division of the CPI (Maoist), were arrested in 2010 at Koraput. All the four have been in Koraput Jail.

The rest four are housed in Malkangiri Jail. Deba Madhi (24), Bhima Padiami (38) and Ganga Sodi (33) were arrested during an operation on January 24, 2011 at Kalimela area of Malkangiri. Mangaraj Darua (25) was held from Matili in the same district on March 7. Bhima and Mangaraj are hardcore cadres of the Maoist party, police sources said.

Besides the eight, the other major name announced was Subhashree Panda, alias Mili Panda, wife of Sabyasachi Panda, secretary of the Odisha State Organising Committee of the CPI (Maoist). Arrested in January 2010 on charges of being a Maoist operative, she was set to be freed last year in October after the Orissa High Court rejected cases filed against her under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act but was re-arrested by the police in another case. Subhashree’s trial is underway and judgment will be delivered on April 10.

However, one name that has been conspicuously missing from the list of 27 is that of Gananath Patra. Convenor of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha, Patra has been languishing in the jail since his arrest from a Bhubaneswar apartment on January 27 in 2010, a few days after Subhashree was arrested.

A member of the CPI (ML) Liberation, Patra has been charged with fuelling violence including murder and arson in Southern Odisha districts of Koraput, Gajapati and Rayagada.


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