Seven hardcore Maoists, including the dreaded Donna Keshav Rao alias ‘Azad’, accused in the murder of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati in August 2008, today launched a fast unto death at the Jharpada jail in the Odisha capital demanding speedy disposal of their cases. While confirming the news about the prisoners launching a fast unto death, Jharpada Jail superintendent Rabindranath Swain did not reveal the names of the Maoists leaders, who were on fast inside the jail.
“The Maoist leaders had earlier submitted a written report with the jail authorities stating that they would sit on a fast unto death till justice was done to them,” Swain told OST. Azad, an accused in the VHP leader murder case, had surrendered before Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) K Aravinda Rao on May 18, 2011. He had carried a reward of Rs ten lakh on his head at that time. Keshav Rao, who worked as Special Zonal Committee member for Andhra-Orissa Border (AOB), played a major role in the kidnap of an IAS officer in the state. While in AOB, he was also allegedly involved in the attacks on several police stations and killing of police personnel.