Banki Double Murder: Congress Sniffs BJD Link, Demands Crime Branch Probe

Bhubaneswar: Alleging involvement of some BJD leaders in the brutal murder of Nuagan sarpanch Mamata Mahapatra’s husband Bhagban Swain and his associate Aditya Ranasingh in Banki, Congress on Thursday demanded a Crime Branch probe into the incident.

Addressing a presser, Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik alleged that there has been a spurt in political violence and murders in the State. Though Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik speaks of non-violence, his partymen are resorting to violence which is unfortunate, he said.

“We condemn the brutal murders. As we know that Odisha government will never go for a CBI probe, we are demanding investigation by the Crime Branch,” said Patnaik.

Senior Congress leaders further alleged that there is direct involvement of local BJD MLA and ex-MLA in the double murder of both Bhagban Swain and his associate Aditya Ranasingh, who is a journalist. Earlier, deceased Bhagban Swain’s wife had also alleged local BJD MLA’s involvement in the case.

Local BJD MLA could not be contacted on such allegations

According to Patnaik, both Bhagwan Swain and his associate Aditya Ranasingh were hacked to death in broad daylight on February 17. Both Bhagaban and Aditya, who suffered severe injuries in the attack, were rushed to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, but the duo succumbed to the injuries.

Before his death, a video of Bhagaban in which he had named a few miscreants involved in the attack had also gone viral on social media.

Meanwhile, Cuttack Rural SP today informed that four persons involved in the double murder case have been apprehended today. The accused have been identified as Kalia alias Jitendra Swain, Balabhadra Pradhan, Sushant Pradhan and Himanshu Bhusan Routray.

“Out of the four accused, we have today produced Kalia and Balabhadra before court while two others are being interrogated,” said Cuttack Rural SP, Radha Binod Panigrahi.

Panigrahi further informed that preliminary probe has revealed that the double murder was the fallout of some previous enmity and involvement of 10 to 15 persons is suspected in the case.