"Panda is not taking food since yesterday. We have been trying to persuade him to eat," Senior Superintendent of the circle jail Raghunath Majhi said.

Panda's health was, however, regularly checked by the jail doctors, he added.

The Maoist leader resorted to hunger strike in the jail from March 31 to April 4 pressing to fulfil his demands. He had once again launched hunger strike in the jail from April 22 when the government did not redress his grievances.

He, however, called off his strike before being discharged from the hospital on Tuesday. He once again started hunger strike for indefinite period, said his advocate Deepak Patnaik.

Panda, 47, is protesting against his solitary confinement in the jail and alleged blocking of his letters to the courts by the jail authorities.

Meanwhile Mohanty (64) has been on hunger strike since last Friday demanding that he be treated as a political prisoner. He did not take food during treatment in the hospital, said his son Sangram.

His weight and blood pressure dipped due to the fast, doctors added.

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