Bhubaneswar: The arrest of Odisha`s top maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda has brought cheers to the families of personnel who laid their lives while fighting red rebels in different parts of the state.
"I will be happy if Panda is sentenced to death. The soul of my husband should be at rest today after arrest of the Maoist leader," Amita Satpathy, the widow of late Pramod Kumar Satapathy, an Assistant Commandant in the Odisha Police, said.
Stating that she is happy over the arrest of Panda whose acts of violence had destroyed 59 families in the state, Amita said, "I cannot express in words how happy I am after knowing that Panda is put behind bars. He should be hanged till death."
Amita Satpathy, however, urged the police authorities to ensure that Panda could not flee from the police net.
Sasmita Pradhan, the widow of Raj Kishore Pradhan, a havildar in the Odisha Police killed in encounter with maoists, also demanded capital punishment for Panda.
"I am happy that Panda has been arrested. Its a great achievement for the Odisha Police," Sasmita said, adding that the police should ensure that Panda is sent to the gallows.
Pramod Kumar Satpathy laid down his life while fighting armed naxalites on February 15, 2008 and has been awarded with the Ashoka Chakra posthumously. He was the first Ashok Chakra recipient from the state and the first officer to receive it in an anti-Naxal operation.
Satapathy was training in charge of the Special Operation Group (SOG) of Odisha State Armed Police. He had rushed to Nayagarh along with 20 others on motorcycles soon after hearing the news that heavily armed Naxalites had attacked police establishments on February 15, 2008.