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Ramakanta Biswas

A court in Bhadrak district on Monday allowed the State Crime Branch to take Sarmistha Rout, the main accused in cameraman Manas Swain kidnapping and murder, on a five-day remand. 

Sarmistha was arrested from Bhadrak earlier in the day along with her associate Jhuna Bhoi, about one and a half month after being on the run.

The duo was produced before Chandbali Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) court. The court turned down their bail petition and remanded them to Crime Branch custody for five days.

Apart from the pair, the court also allowed the Crime Branch to take two other accused who were earlier arrested in connection with the case on remand. They include Niranjan Sethi, a retired Odisha Information Service (OIS) officer and Ranjan Nayak. 

A joint team of Bhadrak police and Crime Branch arrested Sarmishta and her associate Jhuna from Nalanga area of Bhadrak today. The duo was on their way to Odisha from Kolkata in a bus when they were apprehended. 

The two spent a few days in Kolkata and Guwahati to evade arrest.

Manas Swain, a resident of Godipokhari village in Ranpur area of Nayagarh, had disappeared mysteriously on February 7 after going to Bhadrak to shoot a marriage function. 

During the course of investigation, it was learnt that the 28-year-old man was abducted, taken to Dayal Ashram in Bhubaneswar. In captivity, he was allegedly assaulted mercilessly which led to his death. Later, his body was disposed of in Nayagarh.

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