Pradeep Pattanayak

At a time when the Commissionerate Police is already in a dilemma with regard to identity of a person who allegedly died in police custody, showdown between two women claiming him as their husbands has left the police at their wits’ end.

On the one side, police file shows the man as Pradeep Sahu, an habitual offender, while on the other, one of the families identifies him as Debendra Choudhary having no criminal antecedents. 

A high drama unfolded at the mortuary of Capital Hospital after two women identifying themselves as the deceased’s wives claimed to take over the body. Going to prove their relationship with the deceased, they even engaged in a verbal duel at the hospital. 

However, what has given the case an interesting twist is the fact that the two women claimed that they have never seen each other earlier nor do they know each other. 

Meanwhile, the development has put the police in a fix, as they have not been able to decide whom to hand over the body. 

Bandita Choudhary, one of the woman who claims to be the wife of the deceased man alleged, “I have never met or heard of the woman claiming to be wife of my husband. If it is true that my husband would live with another identity (Pradeep Sahu), then he would give them (the other woman and her family) the stolen articles. So they are equally responsible for my husband’s death." 

A relative of the deceased’s statement is all the more puzzling one. She said she knew Pradeep had two wives. 

Notably, Badagada police had detained Pradeep, a resident of Kapilaprasad area, on charges of stealing a bicycle on Sunday night. At about 1 am, they went to Bandita’s house to inform that her husband had died while undergoing treatment at Capital Hospital. 

Bandita however alleged that her husband had been subjected to third degree torture at the police custody which led to his death. 

The police are now having tough time finding out answers to several intriguing questions. 

Earlier, Bhubaneswar DCP Umashankar Dash had informed journalists that during patrolling, Badagada police had picked up Pradeep Sahu, who had criminal antecedents, and brought him to the police station as a part of their investigation into several cycle theft complaints.