Cassian Baliarsingh

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has intervened in the mysterious deaths of two Russian tourists including a lawmaker and sought a report from Rayagada SP.

The NHRC has directed the SP to submit an action taken report (ATR) on the deaths of Pavel Antov (65) and Vladimir Bidenov and the status of the investigation into the case within four weeks.

Meanwhile, a team of the Odisha Crime Branch is camping in Rayagada and intensified the investigation and is leaving no stone unturned to unravel the mystery behind the deaths of the Russian nationals.

The CB team led by DSP Saroj Mahanta visited the hotel where the tourists stayed and quizzed the hotel staff and others in this connection.

On the other hand, Odisha Police DG Sunil Bansal has stated that there is no indication of any foul play in the deaths.

“Competent and selected officers are on the job. However, there is no indication of any foul play,” said Bansal.

It is pertinent to mention here that four Russian nationals had arrived in Odisha and had visited Kandhamal district. Later, they toured to Rayagada and were lodged in a hotel on December 21, 2022.

Under mysterious circumstances, Vladimir Bidenov was found dead on December 22. Preliminary reports suggest Vladimir died due to excess liquor intake as his body was surrounded by liquor bottles.

Shockingly, his friend Pavel was found dead two days later on December 24. Reports said he was a good friend of Vladimir and couldn’t take his death easily. So, he died by suicide by jumping off his hotel balcony.

The hotel staff found him lying dead in a pool of blood. The death of Pavel, who is a business tycoon, a lawmaker in Russia, and critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has sent ripples across the globe.

The lawmaker had been constantly against the Russia-Ukraine war.

On the other hand, it was alleged that the last rites of Pavel were performed in haste and the two were cremated as per Hindu rituals instead of being buried as they were Christians.