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Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Jharsuguda: Chhattisgarh police on Thursday arrested BJD leader and ex-MLA Anup Sai in connection with a double-murder case.

As per reports, Sai was picked up by officials of Chakradhar Nagar police station on Wednesday night from a Sai temple near his residence for interrogation purpose in connection with a double-murder case in 2016.

Sources said, the ex-MLA was accused of being involved in the murder of a woman identified as Kalpana Das (32) and her daughter Pravati Das (14) in April 2016 in the border area of Jharsuguda. Later the bodies of the woman-daughter duo were allegedly disposed of in Chhattisgarh.

After the matter came to light, Chhattisgarh police launched a probe and collected secret information from the deceased’s kin and different local police stations in Jharsuguda.

Based on the evidence, Chhattisgarh police detained Sai and informed about the development to its Odisha counterpart last night over a phone call. They further informed that Anup was sent notice several times to appear at Chakradhar Nagar police station but he failed to appear repeatedly.

“Raigarh SP called me on Wednesday night and informed me about detaining Anup Sai on a years-old case. However, he didn’t clarify about the case in detail,” informed Ashwini Mohanty, Jharsuguda SP.

“We have registered a station-diary at Gandhi Chhak outpost based on the information and have informed his family members about the incident,” he further added.

Anup Sai is a well-known political leader of the State who had been elected thrice from Brajarajnagar Assembly constituency in Congress ticket. He had switched to BJD in 2014 and contested unsuccessfully from Brajarajnagar. He is currently working as the Chairman of Odisha State Warehousing Corporation.

Prior to the arrest, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik removed Anup Sai from the chairmanship of the State Warehousing Corporation. Soon after this announcement, the BJD also expelled him from the party with immediate effect.

"As he was detained by police in a double murder case, BJD has expelled Anup Sai from the party and dismissed him from other posts he was holding. The party was earlier unaware about his involvement," said senior BJD leader Pramila Mallick.

Reacting to the arrest of former MLA Anup Sai, BJP MP Suresh Pujari said, "It was a heinous crime and attempts were also made to destroy evidence just like a professional criminal. If a lawmaker and three-time MLA got involved in such crime, people will lose faith on the legal system. However, this incident has proved that nobody can escape the law.”

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