Dandapani Mohanty, Sabyasachi Panda demand political prisoner status
: Dandapani Mohanty, former mediator between the Maoists and the government, started a hunger strike in Berhampur circle jail on Friday demanding political prisoner status.
Arrested Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda has also been on hunger strike in this jail since April 22.
Mohanty was arrested in February 2013 for his alleged involvement in Maoist activities. He had served as mediator for Maoists during talks with the Odisha Government for release of abducted Malkangiri collector in 2011 and two Italian tourists in Kandhamal district in 2012.
According to Raghunath Majhi, senior superintendent of Berhampur circle jail, information regarding Mohanty’s hunger strike has been sent to Ganjam district collector and Berhampur Superintendent of Police (SP).
According to Mr Majhi, physicians were keeping watch on the health of Mr Mohanty, who is only consuming water with ORS.
Mr Mohanty has sent his application for political prisoner status to Odisha Chief Minister, Governor, Leader of the Opposition in Odisha Assembly and Inspector General (IG) of prisons, said the senior superintendent of circle jail.
Sabyasachi started his hunger strike demanding his rights as a prisoner and citizen, said his lawyer, Deepak Patnaik.
He had earlier issued an ultimatum to the Odisha government to provide details of all the cases pending against him in different police stations in Odisha to the High Court.
He had observed a hunger strike from March 31 for five days. He had to be admitted in the ICU of MKCG Medical College and Hospital, where he had ended his hunger strike. As his demand has not been fulfilled he has again resorted to a hunger strike.