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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The self-styled Maoist leader Sunil alias Sabyasachi Panda, who made it into the international headlines in 2012 post kidnapping of two Italian tourists, has been sentenced to life imprisonment today.

The sentence was pronounced by the Berhampur Additional District Judge - 1l, Sanjay Sahu, on Saturday after completion of hearing on a case instituted by Badabazar police station as case no 127/14 dated on 18 July 2014.

It needs reminding that Sabyasachi was arrested at a midnight swoop by Badabazar police in 2014. The police than had seized huge haul of firearms, gold ornaments and cash. Lawyers of the arrested Maoist leader then had warned of challenging in the court of law against what they termed as an 'illegal' detention.

As per public prosecutor Gyanendra Jena, Sabyasachi was sentenced to life imprisonment under IPC section 121.

Section 121 of the IPC reads as whoever, wages war against Government of India, or attempts to wage such war, or abets the waging of such war, shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine.

Over 135 criminal cases were registered against the Maoist leader for his alleged involvement in various sinister crimes, including kidnapping of Italian tourists and assassination of Swami Lakshmananand Saraswati.

The gruesome killing of the seer on Janmasthami day in 2008 had sparked widespread riots in Kandhamal, which later then had a social and political implications on the State.

However, the Maoist leader has been discharged of the criminal charges levelled in as many as 52 cases so far. He was pronounced guilty in only one case, suggest reports.

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