Mrunal Manmay Dash

In a shocking incident, an associate of senior Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader and State Planning Board Vice President, Sanjay Das Burma, who was missing since Saturday night was found dead from river Nuanai under Sadar Police limits in Puri on Monday.

The deceased has been identified as Chittaranjan Palai. He was a resident of Sanabandhakera village under Brahmagiri block of the district.

To fast track the investigation into the case, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed under the Additional District SP Purna Chandra Pradhan.

As per reports, Palai had gone to attend a feast organised by one Jagannath Sarangi alias Jaga at Matiapada in Puri on Saturday evening after which he never returned home. His family members lodged a complaint at the Sadar Police station after failing to locate his whereabouts till Sunday. Later, his body was fished out from Nuanai river on Monday.

However, the deceased's family, which lodged a missing diary at Puri Sadar police station, also alleged that there was an old dispute between the Palai and Jaga as Palai was close to Das Burma. Some others in the group were not happy about it.

Palai’s uncle, Purnachandra Palai alleged, “They were feasting at Jaga’s home before he went missing and his phone was switched off. I am sure, Jaga has conspired to kill him. It is a planned murder.”

Priyanka Nayak, the wife of the deceased demanded to bring both Jaga and Das Burma under the probe. “I want the Police to ask Das Burma too. They both have conspired to kill my husband,” she alleged.

As per Police, Palai went out with Jaga on the latter's bike after the feast was over on Saturday night. The bike met with an accident 20 kms away from his home. However, when the Police came to the spot they found only Jaga lying unconscious but unscathed on the road and there was no sign of Palai.

When asked by the Police, Jaga could not give any information about Palai and his mysterious disappearance from the accident spot.

“A team has been formed including the SDPO and the IIC to collect evidence and ascertain the truth behind the incident. Basing on the complaint filed by the family, a case has been registered under CrPC Section 302,” said ASP Purna Chandra Pradhan.

While Puri MLA Jayant Sarangi has demanded an impartial investigation into the case, Das Burma has said he had requested the SP to form a high level investigation team and conduct a fair probe into the incident so as to bring truth to light.