Vikash Sharma

 A team of Crime Branch officials on Sunday arrived at Dayal Ashram in Bhubaneswar where Nayagarh-based Manas Swain was allegedly tortured and beaten to death.

The Crime Branch team along with forensic experts is likely to conduct a detailed examination at the Ashram to find relevant clues that might play a crucial role in the ongoing investigation in the sensational Manas Swain kidnapping and murder case.

Blood stains were earlier found in a room of the Ashram and hence, today’s examination of the Crime Branch team at the ‘murder spot’ assumes much significance.

It is pertinent to mention here that the deceased cameraman was allegedly abducted from Palaspur area in Bhadrak district and brought to Dayal Ashram in Bhubaneswar before being murdered. Sources said that the forensic team will also examine the car which was used to transport the body of Manas from the Ashram.

Manas Swain, a resident of Godipokhari village in Ranpur area of Nayagarh had gone missing on February 7. He had reportedly come to Bhadrak from Bhubaneswar for shooting a marriage function when he was abducted, taken to a room at Dayal Ashram in Bhubaneswar, assaulted and tortured. Later, his body was disposed off in Nayagarh.

According to police, Manas was beaten up with bare hands and some weapon. The Chandbali police had recovered Manas' body from Badhipatna hills in Rajsunakhala area of Nayagarh on March 12.

So far, five persons including retired Odisha Information Service (OIS) officer Niranjan Sethi have been arrested in connection with the brutal murder of the 28-year-old cameraman. Sharmishta Rout, the prime wanted accused in the brutal murder case, is still absconding.

It is alleged that Manas was murdered for a memory chip which allegedly contained some video of a short-film featuring Niranjan Sethi with some girls. Sources said that the video had somehow got deleted for which the perpetrators of the crime had taken away the camera of Manas.

The caretaker of the ashram, who recently claimed that she had handed over the last letters written by Manas to Sharmishta Rout, was also present during today’s investigation by Crime Branch team.