Surrendered Naxal Podiyam Panda today informed the Chhattisgarh High Court that he was not coerced by the police to surrender.
Panda was produced before the high court here in response to a habeas corpus petition (plea to produce the person) filed by his wife, Muiye, last week, Additional Advocate General Prafull Bharat said.
He informed the division bench of Justice Pritinker Diwaker and Justice Sanjay Agrawal that he voluntarily surrendered and wanted to stay in police protection fearing threat to his life from Maoists, the AAG said.
The court dismissed the petition observing that it was not the matter of illegal detention, he said.
Panda is a former sarpanch of Chintagufa village in state’s Sukma district, while his wife is the incumbent sarpanch of the same village.
Muiye had filed the petition in the HC, alleging that her husband was illegally kept in custody by the Sukma Police.
The petitioner also contended that neither she was provided any information regarding her husband, nor she was allowed to meet him, he said.
While hearing the petition on Thursday, the police maintained that Panda was not arrested rather he voluntarily surrendered before them, he said.
The court had ordered the police to produce Panda before it today.
Meanwhile, Panda was also given time to meet his wife and children in the court where they had a conversation for around 10 minutes in their local dialect, he said.
Notably, Sukma Superintendent of Police had presented Panda before media on May 17 saying that he had surrendered before police on May 9.
Panda is an accused in several cases of Maoists incidents, including the attack on CRPF personnel in Burkapal area of Sukma last month and the massacre of 76 troopers at Tadmetla (then Dantewada district) in 2010.
( Source – PTI )