Sharmili Mallick

The Odisha police Crime Branch (CB) sought an extension of the custodial remand period of Ashok Upadhyay, one of the two accused in the murder of Chittaranjan Palei, an associate of BJD leader and deputy chairman of State Planning Board, Sanjay Dasburma, on Monday. 

The CB had arrested Jagannath Sarangi of Sasan Damodarpur and Ashok Upadhyay of Chakrapara village in the district on December 24 they were later remanded in judicial custody after their bail plea was rejected by the Puri Sub-Division Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) Court.

Subsequently, the Gram Nyayalaya in Puri on last Saturday granted the CB to take Sarangi and Upadhyay on a two-day remand.

Today, following the completion of the remand period, the two accused were first sent for medical examination and then produced before the Gram Nyayalaya.

The investigating agency prayed to the Gram Nyayalaya to extend the remand period of Upadhyay for further questioning. It is learnt that the Crime Branch has got some vital clues regarding the murder mystery of Palei.

“The two accused were produced before the court after the end of their remand period. The court has sent the duo to judicial custody. However, the Crime Branch has prayed the court for the extension of Ashok Upadhyaya’s custody for five more days. The decision regarding this will be taken by the court later in the day,” said government advocate, Bhagaban Padihary.

The two arrested accused have been booked under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Crime Branch DSP Sisir Kumar Mishra had earlier said Sarangi and Upadhyay were arrested on the basis of lie-detection test of five suspects, scientific, forensic and post-mortem reports and eyewitness accounts.

Mishra also hinted that more persons might have involvement in the case. 

The body of 22-year-old Palei, a native of Sanabandhakera village under Brahmagiri block of Puri district, was found under mysterious circumstances near Nuanai on December 13. He went gone missing on the December 11 night.