BJD MLA acquitted in 2002 murder case

Bhadrak: The Additional District Judge (ADJ) of Bhadrak acquitted BJD’s Dhamnagar MLA, Muktikant Mandal in connection with the murder of one Niranjan Jena alias Chhunchia in 2002.

Along with Mandal, 6 people have been acquitted in the case, informed sources.

Dissatisfied over the verdict, Chhunchia’s brother Kripasindhu Jena and his advocate Nishikant Mishra have said that they will appeal before the Orissa High Court.

“In absence of evidence, all the accused have been acquitted and we have accepted the verdict with all respect. But all of them are involved in the murder of my brother,” said Krupasindhu.

After the verdict, the acquitted BJD MLA accused the Congress party of leveling false allegations against him.

“Two days after the murder, the then Congress Chairman of Odisha had filed a false complaint against me. Today I was acquitted by the court. Truth has ultimately prevailed,” said Mandal.

Last year, Mandal had surrendered before the district court and was later granted bail by Additional district judge AK Chandan on a surety of Rs 25,000. He had surrendered following an order of the Orissa High Court on October 20, 2016.

Chhunchia, a resident of Sugo village who was a truck helper, was lynched on November 3, 2002 allegedly by a mob of around 20 to 25 supporters of Mandal.

Subsequently, Mandal’s family members had filed a complaint at Basudevpur police station.

Although the FIR had named Mandal and others, his name was later dropped from the chargesheet. The sessions court, however, issued summons to the MLA after examining two relatives of the deceased.

Mandal and 5 others were prime accused in the case.