Pradeep Pattanayak

In an interesting turn of events, the police have arrested four thieves and returned Rs 26 lakh to the complainant who had lodged a complaint about missing of Rs 10,000 from his house. 

The incident has now become a matter of discussion in Bhubaneswar. 

A retired government employee, Hadibandhu Behera, living in Prakruti Vihar under Khandagiri police limits had lodged a complaint at Khandagiri police station on October 16, alleging that some miscreants had stolen Rs 10,000 and some ornaments from his house when he and his family members were away. 

Registering a case, the police had launched a probe and arrested four thieves. They had also seized Rs 26 lakh in cash and a fixed deposit of Rs 10 lakh. The money was returned to the complainant. 

It is not surprising that the police busted a robbers’ gang but it is that they returned Rs 26 lakh to the complainant while he had clearly stated in his complaint that Rs 10,000 was stolen from his house. 

During the investigation, police came to know that the quartet, who had been employed by Hadibandhu to whitewash his house, had stolen Rs 40 lakh and divided the booty equally among them. One of them, identified as Adhira Ojha, deposited his share of Rs 10 lakh in a post office for a year. As the stolen money was deposited for a year, the police realised that it was not possible to get them back now. 

The incident has raised several questions like why the police returned Rs 26 lakh to the complainant? Did the complainant hide the actual amount stolen from the police? Were the police aware of the actual amount stolen? 

When contacted over his mobile phone, Hadibandhu Behera said his state of mind was not good after the incident.  

When asked, Zone III ACP Pradipta Kumar Rout said, “He (Hadibandhu Behera) had complained that Rs 10,000 had been stolen. But miscreants had looted Rs 40 lakh from his almirah. Meanwhile, we have informed the concerned post office about the loot money being deposited in a fixed account and frozen the account.”

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