The old saying is “Paap Chhupaaye Na Chhupe, Jas Lahasun Ke Boye, Khaadee (Khadda) Karake Gaariye, Aap Hee Prakat Hoe“, this proverb has become very popular in the case of Maoist Saiyasachi Panda, stuck in many massacres in Orissa for many years. Orissa High Court has sentenced Sabyasachi Panda to life imprisonment while being convicted in various cases. He had charges of waging war (sedition) against India, serious charges of killing innocent people, and inciting common people to fight against the country.Panda has also be allegedly involved in the murder of Hindu Sanyasi Swami Laxamananda Saraswati in Kandhamal district in 2008.
Swami Laxamananda Saraswati is highly revered as a spiritual leader who lived a life dedicated to the welfare of the vanavasis.
Sabyasachi Panda is a top Maoist leader in Odisha, who was arrested by police on July 18, 2014, by a team of police and was in jail ever since. Panda was found guilty of ‘making conspiracy to wage war against the Government and also abetting others to wage war against the Govt. of India by using criminal force and by showing criminal force’.
To impose life imprisonment, the court took note of the submission of the prosecution that he was organizing the Maoist activities inside as well as outside the State and caused the death of so many innocent people and is involved in many cases.
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On this verdict, Additional Sessions Judge SK Sahoo said, “Rather it is clearly held by the prosecution by way of adducing clear, cogent, clinching and trustworthy evidence that while the accused was apprehended he was attempting to wage war and abetting others to wage war against the Govt. of India so also he was making conspiracy to wage war against the Govt. and to overawe by means of criminal force. As such the offence U/Ss.121/121-A of IPC are clearly established against the accused”.
On the other hand, the Court also noted, starting from registration of the case till submission of the charge sheet the entire process has been done by the senior officers in a very casual manner and trial of the case has been conducted by the prosecution haphazardly and in a casual manner.
Out of 135 criminal cases registered against Panda in Odisha, he had so far acquitted in 52. This is the 1st case where he has been convicted.Major cases in which Panda was allegedly involved include the sensational murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati and his four associates in Kandhamal district in 2008, which had triggered severe ethnoreligious riots in the area and eventually led to the collapse of the state’s ruling BJD-BJP alliance.
Panda was also allegedly involved in the abduction of two Italian citizens in Kandhamal district in 2012 and the Nayagarh armory loot.