Complying with a recent court directive, the jail authorities are providing him with a three-month computer course. "He (Panda) is learning the computer course from June 3 as per the direction of the court. He attends one hour class everyday and does classes thrice a week," Jailor Rabindra Roul said.
Sub divisional judicial magistrate (SDJM) court, Berhampur had directed the jail authorities recently to provide him with computer teaching, if such facilities were available in the jail.
The court directed the jail authorities when the founder of Odisha Maobadi Party (OMP) made a request to pursue computer course inside the prison.
"My client wanted to learn computer inside the jail and to teach the inmates about sanitation under Swachha Bharat campaign. While the court directed the jail authorities to give him computer teaching, it was, however silent on sanitation teaching," Panda's advocate Deepak Patnaik said.
Panda was arrested from Bada Bazar, Odisha on July 18, 2014
He had filed a petition in the court seeking to learn the computer, when the jail authorities did not allow him to do this, even though the facility was available for other inmates, Patnaik said.
The prison authorities had denied the facility to him and some other inmates on security grounds, a jail official said. Since his arrest from Bada Bazar area here on July 18, last year, the Maoist leader was housed in a cell.
"After court order, we have provided computer teaching to him in the computer labortary inside the jail. He is taking the class in morning hour along with another inmate. The computer instructor, engaged to teach the course to the jail inmates, also teaches Panda," said jailor.
The Maoist leader was perhaps computer savvy before his arrest. A laptop, four pen-drives, two hard-disks, ten mobile phones along with a revolver, four rounds of ammunition, half kilo gold ornaments were seized from him during arrest.