4 arrested in Sarpanch murder

Koraput: Four persons were arrested for their alleged involvement in the murder of a former Sarpanch in Odisha’s Koraput district, police said today.

The body of Gobardhan Bhumia (37), former Sarpanch of Tentuligumma was recovered by the police on March 13 when it was lying in a pool of blood at Sarandajodi ghat road under Boipariguda police limits.

The four persons, arrested yesterday, have been identified as Ananda Naik, Dasarath Machha, Purna Chandra Naik and Sadana Barik, police said.

During interrogation, the four have confessed that the murder was fallout of a rivalry among the Maoist supporters.

Police said the Maoists after murdering Bapi Samanta of Dandabai under Boipariguda police limits on charges of being a police informer on January 7, 2016, had left a poster at the crime spot in which they had named 10 people whom they had warned not to indulge in anti-Maoist activities.

The names of Ananda and Purna figured in the list though they were Maoist supporters. Fearing rebel attack, they fled the village.

Later, they approached Bhumia, who was a staunch Maoist supporter, to mediate in the matter, said Sub-divisional Police Officer (Jeypore), Rajendra Senapati.

When Bhumia did not pay heed, the duo suspected him of misguiding the Maoists and decided to kill him, the officer said.

Ananda and Purna thought Bhumia had mislead the Maoists against them. Hence, the duo hired Dasarath and Sadana for Rs 60,000 to murder Bhumia. Dasarath and Sadana waylaid Bhumia at the ghat road and killed him with an axe, the SDPO added.