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Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: At a time when Dhakotha in Keonjhar remained shut over demands to arrest the accused in murder of former block chairman and ex-MLA candidate from Ghasipura assembly constituency Ram Chandra Behera, senior BJP leader Damodar Rout made lot of noise levelling serious allegations against senior political leaders and a bureaucrat as the brain behind the chilling killing.

With just two weeks left for the general elections to kick off, Behera who was an aspiring MLA candidate of the BJD this time, was hacked over suspected political rivalry on Monday night.

Talking to media, Rout charged Odisha Minister Badri Patra and his family's hand in the murder. He also stated that Patra is wreaking terror in Ghasipura after CM Naveen Patnaik's private secretary VK Pandian finalised a deal for his (Badri Patra) candidature from the constituency.

Rout even said that such political murders happen at the behest of Pandian and Jajpur MLA Pranab Prakash Das (Bobby Das) in collusion with police officials.

"Pandian and Bobby Das in connivance with police are behind such political murders. Earlier, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik had also written demanding party leadership not to give ticket to Badri Patra. Three days back, Badri Patra had a deal with Pandian and after his candidature was finalised, Badri's family planned the murder," alleged Rout.

Reacting to Dama Rout's allegations, BJP national Vice President and Spokesperson Baijayant Panda also demanded investigation by national agencies stating that the case cannot be left to state agencies to investigate. "Since Odisha CM's own PS is alleged to be involved in this gruesome murder (MLA aspirant chopped to pieces), it cannot be left to state agencies to investigate (they have time & again suppressed rather than exposed such nexus). Needs #NIA or #CBI," tweeted Jay Panda.

While no comments were available from the BJD on Dama's allegations, Minister Badri Patra had refuted the charges stating, "I was personally connected to Behera. And now they are giving political colour to his murder. I want a thorough investigation by police and all the accused should be arrested soon. Why would my family get involved in this murder when we wanted him (Behera) to join our party."

Earlier on Monday, BJP MLA candidate from Ghasipura Prithviraj Kuanr had also demanded a CBI investigation and verification of call records of Behera alleging involvement of local MLA and Minister’s family in the murder.

It is pertinent to note that four persons have been arrested so far in connection with Behera's murder.

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