Berhampur: With police intensifying combing operation in south Odisha, two aides of top Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda surrendered in Ganjam district on Thursday.
The duo, identified as Dedy alias Samasan Mallick(25) and his associate Aruan Sonamaji(22) of Kandahamal surrendered before the police superintendent Asish Kumar Singh at Chhatrapur.
Police said Samasan had worked as the personal courier of Panda and informed the police that the outfit`s strength had increased from 14 to 27 recently through recruitment of youths.
With surrender of the duo, who hail from Kandhamal district, a total three Maoists have severed their links with Panda`s Odisha Maovadi Party while five others were arrested since the November 14 encounter at Bhaliaguda in Gajapati district.
At least five Maoists were killed in the encounter. Panda along with two others have reportedly sustained injuries in the encounter at the tri-junction of Kandhamal-Gajapati- Ganjam district.
Sushila alias Toda alias Sumitra Mallick of Ganjam district had surrendered to the SP on November 16.
Rejecting that five of his men had been killed in the encounter, Panda had in an audio tape released to the media claimed that they were innocent tribals and not Maoists.