From the detention of a family at gunpoint to five-hour-long rescue operation by police, a hostage drama created by an unruly youth which seemed like a scene straight out from a movie script unfolded before the residents of Bolangir like never before.
For the family of late Madan Mohan Hota of Santipada in Bolangir, it seemed that stars were aligned for them to make way for an ordinary day but little did they know that a nightmare that they would hardly forget in their lives was waiting for them to strike.
At around 9 am, Madan Mohan’s son Dibya Lochan along with his wife and son encountered an uninvited guest. Well, not visitor actually, he was an uncouth youth. After charging into Hota’s residence, the youth who has been identified as one Bikram Panda, brandished a gun straight out from his pocket and enquired to know about the whereabouts of Dibya Lochan’s niece. Bikram threatened Hota and his family that he would show little hesitancy in eliminating them all and also wiping himself out if he is not given any information about the girl.
Before he could gauge the dreadful situation, Dibya Lochan hurried into an interior room with his family members and locked himself to escape any attack from the sheer madness of the youth. He immediately sought help from the police after narrating them the ordeal.
A team of police and firefighters including Bolangir SDPO, Town Police IIC rushed to the spot. After obtaining vital details on the structure of Hota’s residence, the rescue team laid out a plan to safely evacuate the members of the family trapped in the hostage situation.
After making sure that there was no danger to the detainees, the team cleverly parked a ladder up to a window positioned at the rear end of the building and rescued one after the other members of Dibya Lochan’s family through the opening.
But the most challenging part of the operation was that to ensure the safe recovery of the hostage taker from the situation. Based on the information from Dibya Lochan, police learnt that Bikram, was present in another room of the building. In order to ensure that the youth does not commit any act out of impulse, the rescue team sent some friends of Bikram to motivate him to drop the weapons and let go of the situation but he did not agree.
Failing to make him change his mind, the rescuers led by Bolangir SP Nitin Kulaskar who was also present at the spot put on bullet proof vests and stormed into the room before capturing Bikram. Police said that he had fired two rounds of bullets before being overpowered by the police.
It has been learnt that Bikram who is a resident of Barpali Pada area of Bolangir had an internet café at the Women’s College in Palace Line. As per statement by Dibya Lochan, Bikram in a fit of one-sided love affair with his niece had been creating nuisance for them for last one year.
Police have taken Bikram into custody and interrogating him to elicit more information on his hostage act. Speaking on the successful operation to diffuse the hostage situation, Bolangir SP Nitin Kusalkar said, negotiating with criminals during times of such emergency is part and parcel of police duty. We had to take an operational call to house intervene and rescue the youth as he might have killed others or himself. Probe into the incident is underway.