Banki Double Murder: Normal Life Hit As Congress Observes 12-Hour Town Bandh

Cuttack: Dissatisfied with the progress made by police in the sensational double murder case in Banki, Congress party workers on Saturday called for a 12-hour bandh in the town. Normal life was hit due to the dawn to dusk bandh as Congress activists burnt tyres and blocked Banki-Cuttack-Baideswar-Kalapathar road and other parts of the region.

The Congress members observed the bandh to press for immediate arrest of all the accused in the brutal murder of Nuagaon sarpanch Mamata Mahapatra’s husband Bhagban Swain and his associate Aditya Ranasingh on February 17.

Banki-Cuttack road being one of the busiest which connects several prominent destinations, the blockade has affected vehicular traffic severely. All the shops, markets, educational institutions and other commercial establishments have also remained closed.

So far seven persons -Kalia alias Jitendra Swain, Balabhadra Pradhan, Sushant Pradhan, Himanshu Bhusan Routray, Taria Pradhan, Papu Pradhan and Dipu Behera have ben arrested in connection with the double murder case.

Before his death, a video of Bhagaban in which he had named a few miscreants involved in the attack had gone viral on social media. Even police had claimed that the incident was the fallout of past enmity while 10 to 15 persons are suspected having involvement in the case.

Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik had alleged that there has been a spurt in political violence and murders in the State. Suspecting the involvement of local BJD MLA and a former MLA, the Congress had earlier demanded a Crime Branch probe into the brutal murders.

“We have called for Banki bandh from 5 AM to 5 PM today. We are demanding a detailed investigation into the double murder case by Crime Branch as we suspect there is involvement of senior BJD leaders in the case,” said Congress leader Debasish Patnaik.