KORAPUT: Three persons, including a sarpanch, were arrested in Malkangiri on charges of being Maoist supporters on Friday. They are sarpanch Bhikari Kirsani, Sonu Pangi and Laxman Sisa from Bododural panchayat of Khairput block. “We had kept an eye on the trio for their involvement in Maoist activities and were waiting for an appropriate time to arrest them,” said superintendent of police (Malkangiri) Akhileswar Singh.
The trio had been detained for interrogation when they had come to Malkangiri to attend a village empowerment meeting organized by the administration on Thursday. Subsequently, they were arrested on Friday. Singh said security personnel recovered two IEDs and a pistol from the forested area of Bododural after the sarpanch’s interrogation.
“Besides providing logistics support to the Red rebels, the trio used to assist them in their offensives. For the past few years, they were working as overground elements of the Maoists and informed the rebels about the movement of securitymen,” he said.
Police said during interrogation the trio confessed to their involvement in a murder by Maoists at Chalanguda and their participation in an exchange of fire between the Maoists and the securitymen at Pujariguda. “During the Pujariguda gunbattle, Laxman Sisa was the sentry of the Maoist camp. Interrogation is on to verify their involvement in other Maoists offensives in the district,” the SP said.
The arrest of the Red rebels comes close on the heels of the murder of two gram rakhi’s (village guard’s) in Malkangiri district.