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Vikash Sharma

After remaining on the run for the past few days, Sharmishta Rout, the prime accused in the sensational murder case of cameraman Manas Swain , was arrested by the State Crime Branch on Monday.

Along with Sharmishta, her associate Jhuna Bhoi has also been arrested from Nalanga area of Bhadrak district. The duo was arrested by joint teams of Bhadrak police and Crime Branch. Both Sharmishta and Jhuna were returning to Odisha from Kolkata in a bus when they were apprehended. Sources said Sharmishta had spent few days in Kolkata and Guwahati.

“Both the accused will be produced in the Court of JMFC Chandbali today,” said Crime Branch ADG Sanjeeb Panda.

Senior officials said that the Crime Branch will move court seeking at least ten days remand for Sharmishta, her associate and five more persons arrested earlier in connection with the case.

Sharmishta Rout is the owner of the web channel where the deceased cameraman Manas Swain worked.

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.

Earlier 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.

On Sunday, the Crime Branch has sealed Dayal Ashram, the old age home operated by the prime accused Sharmistha, in Bhubaneswar. The ashram was sealed after the Crime Branch officials along with a forensic team conducted a detailed examination. The team reportedly collected fingerprints from various spots inside the ashram using the 3D camera and CCTV footage of the day of crime.

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