Pradeep Pattanayak

They were two friends. One reportedly had multiple affairs. His friend had some photographs of his intimate moments with some girls. Using these photos, his friend had been blackmailing him. Fed up with his friend’s habit of extorting money, he decided to eliminate him for good. 

Now he is cooling his heels behind bars. 

The deceased has been identified as Ashutosh Mohapatra, a Plus II student and son of Prashant Mohapatra of Khamar Sahi under Banapur police limits in Khordha district and the accused is Ashirbad Pradhan, a resident 
of Dikhitpada village under the same Banapur police limits. 

According to police, Ashutosh and Ashirbad were close friends. Their villages are four kilometers apart. They were always spotted moving together. Ashirbad had affairs with several girls and Ashutosh had some photographs of the former’s intimate moments with some of his girlfriends. Using these photos, Ashotosh had been blackmailing his friend Ashirbad. 

Drawing the line, Ashirbad orchestrated a plan to eliminate his friend to get rid of his (Ashirbad) habit of asking for money, informed police.
As per police, Ashutosh had left home for tuition at 2 pm on January 23 and soon went incommunicado. But the fact was that Ashirbad had forcibly took Ashutosh to a newly constructed house and made him drink alcohol. Leaving Ashotosh alone in the house, Ashirwad went away for some time. 

In the meantime, Ashirbad called Ashutosh’s father asking for a ransom amount of Rs 5 lakhs to get back his son. In the evening, Ashirbad returned and had a scuffle with Ashutosh. Later, Ashirbad overpowered Ashutosh, strangulated him using a rope and then threw the body into a well with an obvious intention to destroy evidence, said police. 

“It was 9.28 pm on January 23 when I received a call with the person on the other side asking for Rs 5 lakh to release my son. Ashutosh had last spoken with his mother at around 1 or 1.30 pm," said Ashutosh's father.

Meanwhile, Ashutosh’s father lodged a complaint with the Banapur Police. Registering a case, the police launched a probe. They tracked the phone from which the ransom call was made to Dikhitpada village and detained Ashirbad. 
During interrogation, he gave in and admitted to having committed the crime. 

During interrogation, Ashirbad told the police that he had orchestrated the ransom plot to divert the police investigation. 

While replying to the queries of journalists, Ashirbad said, “I first strangulated him with my hands then used a rope to make sure he was dead. The ransom call was to divert the attention as I know it very well that they don’t have the money I asked for.”
Balugaon SDPO, Manas Ranjan Barik said, “The accused killed his friend in the evening of the day of abduction. The reason behind the murder was revenge.”

(Reported by Shakti Prasad Mohapatra from Balugaon, OTV)