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Rashmi Ranjan

The Orissa High Court on Tuesday rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Sarmistha Rout, the prime accused in the sensational murder case of Nayagarh cameraman Manas Swain.

Manas used to work as a camera person with a web channel Sampurna, owned by Sarmistha. 

Meanwhile, Bhadrak Additional SP Jatin Panda has said that there are no plans to take former Odisha Information Service (OIS) officer Niranjan Sethi and Raj Nayak on remand now. The duo was arrested yesterday for their involvement in the case.

The police may take Niranjan on remand, if required, after the arrest of Sarmistha, he added.

As per police, cameraman Manas Swain was kidnapped from Bhadrak on February 6 and brought to Dayal Ashram, an old age home located on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar city, where he was assaulted physically. His body was recovered from Badhipatna hills in Rajsunakhala area of Nayagarh in March 12, the police said.

Sethi, who recently retired as Director, Technical, of Odisha Information and Public Relations Department, and his associate, identified as Ranjan Nayak, were allegedly involved in the murder conspiracy, physical assault and disposing of Manas' body following murder, police said.

According to police, Sethi was present on the spot when the cameraman was beaten to death and the body was also allegedly disposed of under his guidance. "We have sufficient evidence against Sethi," Bhadrak Additional SP Jatin Panda said.

Panda said that Swain was suspected of possessing a memory card containing some objectionable content which could have landed some people in trouble. However, the police are yet to trace the crucial memory chip card.

Police have so far arrested five persons in connection with the brutal murder of the 28-year-old cameraman. However, Sarmistha is still absconding.

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