Death of five Maoists in an exchange of fire with security forces near Ganjam-Gajapati district border on Wednesday hinted that Odia naxalite leader Sabyasachi Panda and his group was now cornered.

After expulsion from the CPI (Maoist) organisation in August, Sabyasachi had formed Odisha Maoist Party (OMP). He was at the target of security forces as well as cadres of CPI (Maoist) organisation.

Cornered Sabyasachi was in extreme need of increasing his support base. His activity was only confided to areas of Kandhamal, Ganjam and Gajapati districts in recent past.

According to intelligence reports, with increase in anti-Maoist operations of security forces in Kandhamal district, Sabyasachi had preferred to shift to areas of Sorada and Badagada in Ganjam district during past few months.

It may be noted that Sabysachi’s group had abducted two Italian tourists in Kandhamal district earlier this year.

According to Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police, southern range, R.K.Sharma, around 15 days back they had received intelligence reports that Sabyasachi along with his group had shifted his camp to Ganjam-Gajapati border area.

Decline of clout of Sabyasachi was evident from the fact that grass root level information regarding his movement had started to spill out.

According to intelligence reports, after camping in the jungle near Ganjam-Gajapati border Sabyasachi was trying to make contacts with his past allies in Raipanka, Mohana, Adaba, R.Udaygiri, Luhagudi, Govindpur etc.

He wanted to revitalise his new outfit through old contacts, Mr. Sharma said. But the encounter on Wednesday thwarted his efforts in which large amount of arms, explosive materials were seized along with killing of five Maoist cadres.

But Dandapani Mohanty, who had mediated for the Maoists with the State government during abduction of Malkangiri Collector R.Vineel Krishna and two Italian tourists, alleged that by resorting to this encounter on Wednesday security forces had marred the process initiated by social activists for peace process and surrender of Sabyasachi.

He alleged that the five Maoists were killed by security forces during night while they were sleeping.

He demanded murder case to be initiated against the security personnel involved in this encounter.