Devbrat Patnaik

Cuttack: In the wake of the recent 'political murders' in the district, leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday turned up the heat on the ruling-BJD and State Police demanding immediate arrest of Mahanga MLA and Odisha Law Minister Pratap Jena, who is among the 13 accused named in the FIR registered in connection with the Mahanga double murder case.

Senior BJP leader Kulamani Baral and his associate Dibyasingha Baral were brutally hacked to death in the Salipur area of the district last Saturday.

Intensifying the protests, party members staged protests outside the police stations and SP offices across the State. Today, hundreds of party workers led by State co-incharge Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, unit president Samir Mohanty, MP Aparajita Sarangi took out a rally in Cuttack to gherao the office of DG Police.

A delegation of the saffron party met DGP Abhay seeking action and arrest of all persons including the law minister for alleged involvement in the brutal murder.

"The discussion was not fruitful. We demanded interrogation of all the accused named in the FIR, but DGP expressed his helplessness," stated Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi.

"We raised our voices for a child who became a victim of organ trade. And now, the murder of a BJP leader and his aide in broad daylight, just because he spoke against corruption. Taking into account all the incidents of ghastly crime, we have come to the DGP today to ask him why in every case there's a blot on Khaki. Why is police shielding the accused? Is it the Odisha police or BJD's police?" questioned Prabhati Parida, State BJP vice-president.

While some of the accused have already been arrested, why has Police not initiated any action against the minister as yet, questioned the saffron party. The BJP has also demanded immediate ouster of Pratap Jena from the Naveen Cabinet.

BJP leader and Former Director-General Police Prakash Mishra also raised questions on the manner the officials are carrying out the investigation. “Dibyasingha Babu had taken some names behind the murderous attack. His last words should be considered as dying declaration. It is a matter of concern that investigation is not moving in that direction,” Mishra had alleged.

National vice-president of the BJP, Jay Panda too lamented that the sitting BJD Law Minister of the state is implicated in the case.

A team of Congress led by OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik today went to Nrutanga village in Cuttack district to meet the family members of the deceased. Police are deliberately delaying the probe and not arresting the actual culprits. The issue of threat letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was raised to divert the attention of people from the murder case," said the PCC chief after meeting the families of the deceased.

On that fateful day, former Mahanga block chairman Kulamani was returning home with Dibyasingha on his bike when some miscreants attacked them with sharp-edged weapons near Jankoti in Mahanga of Cuttack. Kulamani was declared brought dead at Mahanga CHC while Dibyasingha succumbed to injuries during treatment at SCB Hospital in Cuttack.

So far, the Cuttack Police (rural) has managed to arrest seven persons in this connection while the rest are still at large.

"The DGP assured us that the investigation will complete in 10 days. A DIG rank officer would be entrusted with the probe," informed State BJP president Samir Mohanty following discussion with Odisha DGP Abhay.

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