Seized letters indicate Maoists in touch with BJD, Cong leaders

FP

Letters seized from Maoist 'commander' Ghasi alias Chenda Bhushanam, who was arrested in April 2011, indicate that Maoists were in touch with at least an MLA and MP of the Biju Janata Dal and the Pottangi Congress MLA.

The letters were seized from Ghasi and produced in the trial court as part of the seizure list. A top 'commander' of the Andhra Orissa Border Special Zonal Committee, who carried a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head, the 46-year-old Ghasi has over 100 cases against his name.

Two letters in Oriya seized from him, copies of which are with The Indian Express, indicate that Maoists were in touch with Koraput MP Jayram Pangi and Koraput MLA Raghuram Padal apart from Congress MLA Ramachandra Kadam. This is the first documentary evidence of correspondence between Maoists and elected Orissa leaders.

In the letter written in February 2011, on a CPI (Maoist) letterhead, Daya, secretary of the Koraput-Srikakulam Divisional Committee of the Maoists, asked MP Pangi, MLA Padal, Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka and a BJD leader from Pottangi, Prafulla Pangi, to attend their meeting in the Narayanpatna block. Since 2009, the block, which sits at the tri-junction of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, has been a Maoist stronghold, with rebels crossing over to bordering states after ambushing police.

"You BJD people have to attend the meeting. Please go and listen to what people are saying about the government. If you think us as your people, then please come or else don't. The district administration and politicians should think of land problems, Dalits and tribals lodged in jail and difficulties faced by villagers in areas around police camps. Please go, see, listen and understand and try to solve the problem after discussions with local people. If you go to Narayanpatna, your future would be bright," said the letter sent by Daya.

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