Ganjam: Police on Wednesday arrested a man on charge of providing shelter to Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda here in Ganjam district. He was identified as A Chandra Rao. Police seized a cell phone and `900 from Rao’s possession. He remained untraced for two years. Rao is the owner of the house at Marthapeta Street in the city from where Sabyasachi was arrested on July 18, 2014. Police had also seized firearms and huge quantity of gold ornaments besides a laptop during the raid.
“Rao will be produced in court,” ASP Trinath Patel and SDPO Santunu Dash said at a media meet. After two years, police arrested Rao from Berhampur bus-stand. However, he denied any links with Sabyasachi. “He resided in my house as a tenant in the name of Gopal Dash,” Rao claimed. “I have no links with any Maoists and do not know Sabyasachi personally,” he added. Sabyasachi claimed to be a rice trader,’ Rao said.
According to police, Rao was a businessman. He transported goods from villages and sold them in Berhampur. Police suspected Rao to be involved with Maoists as he usually travelled from village to village for business. However, no evidence of his involvement was revealed yet. Meanwhile, it was learnt that Rao was a Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPM member.
He has several cases pending against him in various police stations of the district. However, Sabyasachi’s lawyer Deepak Patnaik said Rao wanted to surrender himself before the police. “The additional district judge (2) has discharged all cases against Rao,” Deepak said.