Athgarh: In a chilling reminder of the ghastly Nirbhaya gang-rape case in New Delhi that shook the conscience of the entire nation, the driver and conductor of a bus have been arrested for abducting, raping, murdering and later dumping her body in Mahanadi river here in Cuttack district.
The mystery behind the death of the girl, whose body was found under Jatamundia bridge in Banki on August 2, was unveiled after police arrested the two accused – driver Santosh Sahu and conductor Bibhuti Rout.
Banki police, who had recovered the semi-nude body of the girl on August 2, came to know from preliminary investigation that it was a case of rape and murder. Accordingly, police started investigation and reached the accused after getting a clue from the victim’s family at her village Gourangpur.
Investigation revealed that the victim had developed an affair with the accused bus driver. But when the girl insisted on marriage, the driver, who had no desire to enter into wedlock, hatched a plan to eliminate her.
“As per the plan, Santosh called her on the pretext of an outing and took her to Ratagada near Athagarh. He and his conductor allegedly raped her inside the bus before hitting her head with an iron rod to death. Later, they drove straight to the Jatamundia bridge on Mahanadi near Subarnapur, 10 km away from the place, to dump the body into river,” Banki SDPO Amaresh Panigrahi said.
Both the accused had fled the spot soon after committing the crime, he added.
The victim’s mother demanded stringent punishment to the culprits. “They should be punished in such a way that they would feel the pain my daughter did,” her mother said.