'Most wanted' Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda joins AAP: Report
According to a report, AAP has offered membership to Panda, a native of Mayurjhalia village in Nayagarh and a graduate in Mathematics.
The report further quotes sources as saying, "AAP-Sabyasachi Panda political negotiation has been going on since January following the Maoist leader's attempt to manage political space in ruling Biju Janata Dal failed."
Earlier, the party's state unit chief Nishikanta Mohapatra also told reporters, "We are not opposed to anyone joining the party as long as someone willing to operate within our constitutional framework."
"The law will have to take its own course but before that he (Sabyasachi) would have to be tried in a court of law," Mohapatra told TNIE.
Sabyasachi Panda carries a bounty of Rs 5 lakh on his head.
On February 15, 'fugitive' Panda managed to give police, the slip once again after a fire-fight with security forces in a jungle in Odisha's Ganjam district.
When the security forces closed in on the camp, the Maoists started firing and Panda escaped, the sources said.
At least eight persons, including Panda, were present in the camp during the exchange of fire and some of them might have been killed in the gun-battle, they said.
The camp operated by Panda, the chief of the Odisha Maobadi Party, was destroyed, DIG, Southern Range, Amitabh Thakur said.
In 2011, Panda parted ways with the outlawed CPI (Maoist) and formed a new red outfit called Odisha Maobadi Party (OMP).
In Odisha, 45-year-old Sabyasachi Panda carries a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh on his head.
In March 2012, he was also involved in the abduction of two Italian tourists, who were released later.
His wife, Subhashree Das also supports him.