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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

News Highlights

  • As per homicide investigation protocol, the Bhadrak police should have kept watch on the key suspects in the case after the FIR was filed. But letting off the key accused by the police has been a clear violation of the protocol.

Even as the Odisha police making all efforts to track down key suspect Sarmistha Rout in the Nayagarh cameraman murder case that is rocking the State scape now, the cops could lay hand only on her brother on Tuesday at Vijayawada in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

As per police claims, the prime accused has been changing locations to fox the cops on trail. Sources informed that Sarmistha changed her location twice in Odisha, before sneaking out of the State borders.

Hide And Seek Game

In order to bust her hideouts, the State Police are swooping on the residences of Rout's relatives. In pursuance of the trail, on a day when the Orissa HC rejected Rout's anticipatory bail plea post the arrest of former top OIS official Niranjan Sethi, the Odisha police team on Tuesday nabbed her brother from the residence of her close associate at Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh.

"The hide and seek game being played by the key accused is nothing but biding time to plug all the loopholes in the murder case. Like cops, the accused too keep track of the police investigation. This is done with an intent to take the leads from the progress in an investigation to help them erase the trails of the crime," said a senior cop explaining modus operandi of fugitives.

He further added that as the cops are hot on the trail, and as the HC has rejected her anticipatory bail plea, a breakthrough is very likely within 48 hours.

Police Losing Evidence?

The brain behind 'Detective Conan' Gosho Aoyama had once put it well that 'Time is a terrible thing because it can erase both joys and pains'.

The timeline of the most recent murder thriller reveals how the Odisha Police have bungled up with the time handing over the crucial time to suspects in the case so that they may erase the 'joys' of police and 'pains' of the key suspects.

  • The alleged kidnapping of Manas Swain took place on Feb 7.
  • Missing complaint lodged by victim's family members on Feb 14.

The above dates put the gap between the 'missing act' and 'missing complaint' at around 7-days. The cops began their investigation a week after the disappearance took place.

As per the disclosure made by ASP, Bhadrak, Jatin Panda, victim Manas Swain was kidnapped on Feb 7 from Bhadrak and taken to the Dayal Ashram in Bhubaneswar on the same night, where he was assaulted. Swain was served food on that night. And based on arrested person's crime sketch, the victim died on Feb 8.

Significantly, as the police investigation began nearly after 7-days from the occurrence of the crime, the cops seem to have lost the crucial crime prints from the crime scene at the first instance. Also, the police made the first arrest on  March 12.

"As per homicide investigation protocol, the Bhadrak police should have kept watch on the key suspects in the case after the FIR was filed. But letting off the key accused by the police has been a clear violation of the protocol," the senior cop observed.

The Bottomline

The case diary of the Manas Swain murder case poses many questions that beg for answers. Unlike the Mamita Murder case where the key accused turned into a parrot and handed every crime evidence to the Balangir police, in the Manas Swain case the police have no such luxury.

The statement to media on Monday during the court appearance of former senior OIS official and accused in the murder case, Niranjan Sethi, "I am not the killer. Mind it," tells the hard tale.   

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