Martyr’s kin traced: After BJP, Ama Odisha chief smells foul play

Bhubaneswar: The controversy surrounding the mysterious disappearance of Babula Panda, grandson of freedom fighter Laxmi Indira Panda, on Friday turned murkier with Ama Odisha chief Soumya Ranjan Patnaik joining the ongoing tussle between BJD and BJP on the issue.

Even though Babula Panda was traced at Mancheswar area here yesterday, Patnaik on Friday suspected political involvement in the entire incident.

Earlier, Babula, the grandson of INA captain Laxmi Indira Panda, went missing since April 16 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi felicitated his father and mother at a function in Raj Bhavan.

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Babula Panda, the grandchild of freedom fighter Laxmi Indira Panda had come to Bhubaneswar with father Surendra Panda and mother Sujata Panda for the felicitation programme.

“With so many twists and turns, the incident is no less than high voltage drama and I suspect the involvement of political parties in the incident,” said Patnaik.

Senior officials of Commissionerate police had claimed to have got a call and later Babula was rescued in an unconscious state from Mancheswar area in Bhubaneswar yesterday. He was admitted to Hitech hospital and later shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.

“Babula was admitted to Hitech after being rescued by Mancheswar police. He was not in his senses due to dehydration,” said Police DG KB Singh.

Senior leaders of BJP today again accused BJD leaders energy minister Pranab Prakash Das and senior leader Rabi Narayan Nanda of being involved in the missing of Babula.

Addressing a press conference here, leader Samir Mohanty said: “The phone call records of both the leaders should be verified as there is no coherence in the statements of Police DG and BJD leaders on the issue,” said Mohanty.

Barabati-Cuttack MLA Debasish Samantray on the other hand said, “Politicizing the entire incident when it is being investigated is not justified.”