Maoist mediator Dandapani Mohanty was arrested from his residence in Berhampur in Ganjam district of Odisha on Friday on charges of involvement in extremist activity.
Mr. Mohanty, along with others, had mediated between the Maoists and the State government when they abducted Malkangiri Collector R. Vineel Krishna in 2011 and Italian tourists Paolo Bosusco and Claudio Colangelo in Kandhamal district in 2012. He had been chosen by the Maoists as mediator.
Mr. Mohanty claims to be a civil rights activist and heads an organisation named Jan Adhikar Manch.
A team of plain-clothes police personnel from Gajapati district took Mr. Mohanty into custody from his residence in Shanti Nagar area of the city. He was immediately taken to R. Udaygiri in Gajapati district.
Speaking to The Hindu, Gajapati Superintendent of Police (SP) C.S. Meena said Mr. Mohanty had 15 cases filed against him in the district and there were six non-bailable warrants pending. The cases included murder, blasting of mobile communication towers and torching of Odisha State Transport Corporation (OSRTC) buses. Mr. Mohanty’s son Sangram Keshari Mohanty was arrested, along with another person, on December 5, 2012, from Kamalapur in Gajapati district while he was allegedly trying to transport arms and ammunition to Maoists.