Sharmili Mallick

In a major breakthrough in the sensational murder of Chittaranjan Palei, the 22-year-old associate of BJD leader and deputy chairman of State Planning Board, Sanjay Dasburma, on the night of December 11, the Odisha Crime Branch on Friday claimed to have arrested two of the assassins.

Crime Branch DSP Sisir Kumar Mishra said that the arrested accused, Jagannath Sarangi and Ashok Upadhyaya, were known to the deceased.

Mishra said that Chittaranjan used to oppose Jagannath for the latter’s frequent visit to a house at Chakrapada village in the district. On the fateful night, an altercation ensued between the two over the same issue leading to Chittaranjan’s murder.

“Jagannath Sarangi used to visit a house at Chakrapada and this was approved by the family who lived there. But some altercation had ensued over his visits that day and the incident culminated in Chittaranjan’s murder near Nuanai river embankment,” said Mishra at the presser.

The SSP said that the role of the other accused, Ashok Upadhaya, can’t be revealed now as the investigation is at a crucial juncture. “I can just say that he (Upadhaya) was involved in the murder conspiracy,” he said.    

The duo has been forwarded to the Sub-divisional Judicial Magistrate (SJDM) Court in Puri after they were 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), the senior police official said.

The Crime Branch has requested the Court to allow seven-day custodial remand of the two accused to elicit vital inputs regarding the involvement of others, if any, in the murder.

The body of Chittaranjan, a native of Sanabandhakera village under Brahmagiri Block of Puri district, was found under mysterious circumstances near Nuanai on December 13. 

Following a complaint filed by the family members of the deceased, the Puri Sadar police had registered a murder case.  Subsequently on December 15, the Director General of Police (DGP) had handed over the investigation to the State Crime Branch.

A four-member CB team led by DSP Sisir Kumar Mishra is investigating the case.