Maoist-designated mediator Dandapani Mohanty arrested

Bhubaneswar: Maoist-designated mediator Dandapani Mohanty, who shot into fame for conducting protracted negotiations with the Government for the release of several high-profile hostages, has been arrested by Odisha police on Friday. Dandapani was arrested from his home in Berhampur by a joint team of Ganjam, Gajapati and Berhampur police. He has already been produced in a court in R. Udaygiri.

According to police sources, there were six non-bailable warrants (NBWs) pending against Dandapani. Apart from the NBWs, there were nine other cases under investigation in which his role was clearly established, sources said. The cases were under different section of the IPC and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

The charges against Dandapani include blasting of telephone towers, meeting and harbouring Naxalites, collection of money from gullible public in the name of Naxalites, alleged murder of Dinabandhu Mantri etc.

Dandapani’s son Sangram K. Mohanty was arrested in December 2012 for alleged links with Maoists.

Dandapani shot into prominence in 2011 when he successfully mediated with the government for the release of abducted Malkangiri collector Vineel Krishna. He was again designated as a mediator by the Maoists to conduct talks with the government for the release of two Italian tourists in 2012. Dandapani was often critical of government policies.