Dilip Kumar

Cuttack: Another accused has been arrested late on Wednesday night by the district police in connection with the brutal murder of former Mahanga Block Chairperson and BJP leader Kulamani Baral and his relative Dibyasingh Baral over political rivalry on Saturday evening.

The accused identified as Chaitanya Sethi is the brother of prime accused Panchanan Sethi, police said. A special teal led by Inspector in-charge of Salipur Police station conducted raids at different places and arrested him from Nuapatana area in Cuttack city.

With the fresh arrest, the number of arrestees went up to six. Police are yet to disclose the identity of the accused.

On Wednesday, police had also arrested an accused for his alleged involvement in the crime that triggered a massive political furore in the State.

Two days after the crime, Cuttack police (rural) had nabbed four persons including the prime accused in the case. The prime accused has been identified as Panchanan Sethi while others are Arabinda Khatua, Khitish Acharya and Lalita Mohan Baral, Cuttack SP (Rural) B Jugal Kishore had informed at a press meet.

The crime rocked the entire State with Opposition BJP and Congress taking to the streets demanding exemplary action against the accused and ouster of local MLA and Law Minister Pratap Jena for his alleged involvement in the case.

Ramakant Baral, the Son of the deceased Kulamani, registered an FIR naming 12 persons including eight people accusing them of executing the crime over political enmity.

He alleged that his father was killed at the behest of Law Minister Pratap Jena for exposing massive scam under Prime Minister Awas Yojan in Mahanga block.

BJP and Congress had hit the streets separately demanding expulsion of Law Minister for allegedly creating political violence.

On Wednesday, BJP's Odisha in-charge D Purandeswari came down heavily on ruling BJD over the brutal murder of party leaders.

“Our party workers were brutally murdered for exposing corruption in Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). The incident has reflected the laxity in maintaining the law and order situation in the State. It has also exposed that the Odisha government is mired in corruption,” she said.

Notably, Kulamani was returning home along with his associate Dibyasingh on his bike when some miscreants attacked them with sharp-edged weapons near Jankoti in Mahanga of Cuttack. Kulamani was declared brought dead at Mahnaga Community Health Centre while Dibyasing succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.