Pradeep Singh

Cuttack: While the motive behind the brutal double murder at Mahanga still remains a mystery, Ramakant, son of deceased BJP leader Kulamani Baral, has alleged that his father was killed since he was instrumental in exposing a string of scams in the area.

Ramakant alleged that as his father had raised voice against irregularities and corruption, especially in the Prime Minister Awas Yojana (PMAY), in the region, he was silenced at the behest of the local MLA and Odisha Law Minister Pratap Jena.

“My father’s murder is purely out of political reasons. We had twice informed the Chief Minister and the Mahanga IIC about the threat to our lives through letters. Our lives are still under threat,” feared Baral.

On the arrest of one Khitish Acharya in connection with the case, Baral said Acharya had occupied a house under the PMAY scheme even though he was not eligible. “When we sought an RTI reply over the status of the house, we found his name illegally added to the beneficiary’ list and he (Acharya) even received money under the scheme without building any house,” he alleged.

Even after apprising the Minister (Pratap Jena) about the corruption by Acharya, the latter was appointed as the BJD president of the panchayat. It was like promoting those involved in irregularities, he alleged.

He further alleged that the murder was pre-planned which was scripted by the Law Minister. “We are suffering as we raised our voice against corruption,” Baral added while pleading for the safety and security of his family members.

Earlier today, police arrested one more accused allegedly involved in the brutal murder of the BJP leader and his associate, identified as Dibyasingh Baral, taking the total number of arrestees in the case to five.

On Tuesday, four persons including the prime accused were arrested by the Cuttack police (Rural). The prime accused has been identified as Panchanan Sethi while others are Arabinda Khatua, Khitish Acharya and Lalita Mohan Baral.