Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: A letter issuing death threat to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was traced to have been sent by an inmate of Bilaspur district jail, a police official said Monday.

The prisoner, Pushpendra Nath Chouhan (40), who had demanded Rs 50 crore from Patnaik confessed to have done it to garner "public attention"

A letter addressed to Patnaik was received by the Odisha Police on August 25 who immediately swung into action to trace down the sender.

"We received a communication from Odisha Additional Director General (Intelligence) on Sunday regarding the threat letter," Bilaspur Superintendent of Police Arif Sheikh informed, refusing to divulge the exact contents of the letter and the exact threat mentioned in it and asserted the matter was under investigation.

During the course of probe, the police tracked down the origin of the letter. "The inmate hails from Janjgir-Champa district in Chhattisgarh and is serving jail term in dacoity and murder cases since 2009," Sheikh said, adding that Chouhan confessed to have written the letter to garner public attention.

" He has a habit of writing such letters and had sent a similar communication to a district collector of Odisha in the past. The inmate appears to be mentally unstable and we will be sending him for medical examination, Sheikh said.

Bilaspur police will send a detailed report on the investigation to the Odisha Police, sources said .

Meanwhile, condemning the incident, Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda tweeted, "I've been pressing for reforms in our criminal justice system, of which the jail system is a crucial bit. It's well known that undertrials & even convicts freely operate criminal activities in the outside world from inside jail."

With inputs from PTI..