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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bahubali MLA, Prashant Jagdev’s problems seems to have compounded after the Range Rover he ploughed through a crowd in Banapur was found having two registration plates.

While one of those bears a genuine registration number, the other has turned out to be a fake one, belonging to another vehicle of different make.

The Range Rover Discovery in question, used by Jagdev in his marauding act, bore the number: OD 25K 5775, and was registered in the name of one Kumar Debadatta. However, after the mob ransacked the vehicle following Jagdev’s murderous attempt, the registration plate broke and another registration number (OD 02 AY 5775) emerged from below.

Suspicion over Jagdev’s conduct arose when the second registration number (OD 02 AY 5775) used on the SUV turned out to be fake, belonging to another vehicle. As per information obtained from the RTO website, it belongs to another vehicle (a Hyundai Creta) belonging to Shibani Food Products Private Limited in Rajsunakhala, Nayagarh.

It has been learnt that the Police found themselves in a tight spot after the FIR, which was lodged by the MLA at the Banapur police station against people who ransacked his vehicle, mentioned the registration number as OD 25K 5775. It is worthwhile to mention that the initial FIR registered by the Police against Jagdev mentioned the vehicle registration number as OD 02 AY 5775.

Divulging information about the case, Khordha SP, Alekh Pahi told OTV, “After the Police seized the Jagdev’s vehicle, the officers registered the FIR against the vehicle bearing number OD 02 AY 5775. But during further investigation, it transpired that this was not the original number of the vehicle in question. In fact, the RTO registered number is OD 25K 5775. So we have added another IPC Section pertaining to forgery in the FIR against Jagdev.”

Regional Transport Officer of Bhubaneswar RTO -1, Pradeep Mohanty told OTV, “We had sent the MVI to the spot for investigation. Today is a government holiday declared for ULB elections. The MVI will soon be submitting his report. Only then I will able to say something on this.”

“Our job is to submit the findings to the Police. They will take appropriate action against whosoever found guilty,” added Mohanty.

However, it is still unclear why Jagdev was driving the vehicle owned by Debadatta and what kind of relationship the MLA shared with the former. And the most important question that has baffled many is why Jagdev was using a second (Fake) registration number on his vehicle hidden below the original registration plate.

Meanwhile, the BJP has taken the matter seriously. Senior saffron party leader and Union Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan took to Twitter to target the State government and the police department. Accusing the Police of trying to cover up Jagdev’s crime, Pradhan wrote, “The conduct by Police has raised suspicion and this is not right for a healthy democracy.”

Responding to Pradhan’s accusations, Biju Janata Dal’s (BJD) Organisational Secretary, Pranab Prakash Das tweeted, “BJP members in Odisha forgot to inform you (Pradhan) that the Police have already slapped Jagdev with serious charges including using fraudulent vehicle number. The law will take its own course.”

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