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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar/Bolangir: After arresting mastermind in the sensational Wedding Gift blast case Punjilal Meher (English Lecturer in Jyoti Vikash College), Crime Branch IG Arun Bothra today revealed how Punjilal meticulously planned to wipe off the family of Sanjukta (Principal of same College) and carried out the gory act single-handedly.

At a presser, Bothra confirmed that Punjilal had hatched the conspiracy to settle personal scores with Sanjukta, mother of deceased Soumyashekhar after she took over as the new Principal of Jyoti Vikash College in Bhainsa. Punjilal was holding the post of Principal despite being junior to Sanjukta who was later appointed the Principal. This had apparently prompted him to mastermind the crime, Bothra said.

Bothra revealed that Punjilal alone had planned the attack and it was on February 15 that he went to Raipur to send the parcel from Skyking Courier Service near railway station. Punjilal returned from Raipur the same day, Bothra said.

During interrogation, Punjilal confessed to have committed the crime and claimed that he used to stay alone in one of the floors of his house. There, he learnt bomb-making from internet and YouTube videos and carried out many tests on his own before sending the parcel with explosives.

As per Punjilal’s statements, Bothra said, he was well aware not to leave any evidence and so he experimented and prepared the explosive on a carpet and later burnt all the remaining equipment along with the carpet in the backyard of his house.

During Diwali last year, Punjilal had collected 2 kg gun powder and other equipment from small flash bulbs to prepare the killer bomb and had even experimented them on a trial basis. He then boarded a train from Kantabanji to Raipur on February 15 without a ticket and had covered his face during the journey to hide his identity.

Soon after reaching Raipur, Punjilal took the help of an auto driver and sent the explosive parcel to Sanjukta's house from the Skyking Courier Service booked in the name of S K Sinha. The CB officials actually found the bill of the parcel from his house, which proved to be the major clue to get a breakthrough for further investigation.

The Crime Branch IG said, “The bomb was prepared by stashing large amount of gunpowder. As per the plan, he had attended the College and even took one class the day he went to Raipur. To fake his identity, he wore a cap and a jacket and tried every possible way to conceal his identity. He is so cunning that he did not even book train ticket to go to Raipur. He himself said he was aware that if he goes to the ticket counter, he may get captured by the CCTV.”

Punjilal's mission did not end there as he even tried to diverge the attention and investigation of Police. After the explosion on February 23, he reportedly shot a letter to Bolangir SP in the name of parcel sender SK Sinha in which he furnished false information that the parcel explosion was due to past love affair of the newly weds.

Later on after the investigation was handed over to SIT, the team expedited the probe after deceased SoumyaSekhar's mother Sanjukta mentioned about the issues pertaining in the college after she took over as the new Principal. This clue was enough for the Crime Branch to grill the accused lecturer and detain him. Punjilal was today arrested after he confessed to have committed the crime and disclosed his motive behind the crime.

Meanwhile, the Crime Branch has taken Punjilal Meher on a six-day remand after getting permission from the SDJM Court. The Crime Branch had earlier requested to take him on a 14-day remand to collect a few more facts but the SDJM Court granted permission for only six days, sources said.

On February 23, newly-wed groom Soumyasekhar and his grandmother were killed in an explosion while unwrapping a parcel they had received as wedding gift by courier in Bolangir district.

Deceased Soumyasekhar’s wife Reema Sahoo, who had sustained critical injuries in the incident, was discharged after undergoing treatment at SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack recently.

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