Mutt mahant brutally murdered in Bolangir

Bolangir: The mahant of Sulia mutt at Purunapani under Tusura police station in the district was found murdered on the mutt premises on Saturday with multiple injury marks on his body.

Police said unidentified miscreants hacked the Mahant, identified as Basant Das, with an axe to death and fled the spot. An old copy of Valmiki Ramayan epic was found near the body. Police suspect the crime was committed after the evening prayer of the priest.

“Prima facie it is a case of murder. The number of people involved in the crime can only be ascertained after investigation,” Bolangir SDPO Narayan Nayak said.

Some articles of the deceased, documents and religious books and the axe used in the crime were seized, he added.

Locals suspected the hand of another Baba, who came to the mutt two days ago, behind the ghastly murder. “A Baba had come to the mutt two days ago. We don’t know him. He is absconding soon after the murder. So, we apprehend that he might have a role in the incident,” said Chakradhar Mallik, a local resident.

A resident of Balikhama in Sonepur district, Basant Das alias Basant Bhoi had left home 30 years ago to take sanyasa. He had been working as mahant of Sulia mutt for last 15 years.