Naxalite leader Panda was wanted in more than 50
criminal cases, including the murder of Swami Laxamananda Saraswati and four of
his followers in Kandhamal district in 2008 that had triggered communal violence
in the region.
Panda however was expelled from the CPI Maoist
party the same year after which he formed his new party “Odisha Maoibadi Party.”
Recently his new party came into a cooperation agreement with CPI-ML (Janashakti)
party and floated a new party, the Communist Party of India
(Marxist-Leninist-Maoist). The aim behind the creation of the new party was to
bring like-minded "revolutionaries" on a single platform, experts believed.
Security forces feared that post the creation of
the new party, Panda could order a step up in violence in the state's Naxal-infested
districts, like Ganjam, Kandhamal, Gajapati and Rayagada.
A mathematics graduate, Sabyasachi Panda is the
son of former lawmaker and Marxist communist leader of Odisha late Ramesh Chandra
Panda who joined the ruling party Biju Janata Dal in later part of his career.
In order to release the Italian tourists, the
provincial government had to enter into mediation with Panda through
interlocutors nominated from each side.
While announcing the arrest of Sabyasachi Panda,
the Chief Minister of Odisha appealed to the Maoists to shed violence and join
Left-wing extremism is a growing issue in Odisha
and most of India. Lack of development and growing poverty in rural and outreach
India are believed to be the primary reasons behind it.