Tarabha youth murder: Prime accused nabbed

Dhenkanal/Bhubaneswar: Police today arrested Byomokesh Biswal, a jawan of Odisha State Armed Police (OSAP) and prime accused in the murder of Salman Rout who succumbed to the bullet injuries in Dhenkanal District Headquarters Hospital last evening after he was shot at during a pre-poll violence in Tarabha village earlier in the day.

“We are investigating into the incident. We have sent the body to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack for post mortem. Since tension prevails in Tarabha village, armed police force has been deployed there to ward off any untoward incident,” Dhenkanal SP Basant Kumar Panigrahi said.

He further said police have arrested prime accused Byomokesh Biswal and begun interrogation of the two detainees. “We will also arrest others against whom FIRs have been lodged,” he added.

Asked whether the murder was the outcome of a political rivalry, the SP said there was a long-time rivalry between the family of the deceased Salman Rout and the prime accused Byomokesh Biswal.

While Salman was a BJP supporter, Bymokesh was a supporter of BJD.

Giving details, the SP said the incident took place in the afternoon hours yesterday. “A group of youths were sitting near a shop after playing cricket when a youth of another group arrived there.  At this, the youths sitting near the shop had a heated argument with him. Soon after the incident, 4-5 members of the rival group called Salman to a secluded place on the outskirts of the village in the afternoon. After Salman arrived at the spot, they put the gun in his chest and fired. Hearing the gun shot, some villagers rushed to the spot and saw Salman lying in a pool of blood. They immediately rushed the bleeding youth to the district headquarters hospital where he succumbed to his injuries in the evening,” he added.

The SP further said that a special team has been formed to nab the other accused involved in the murder case.

Tension ran high soon after his death as several supporters of his village along with the kin of the deceased rushed to Dhenkanal town and blocked the main road keeping the body of the deceased demanding immediate arrest of the accused.

The irate villagers withdrew the blockade after the district collector Rupa Roshan Sahu and SP assured them of arresting the accused very soon.

Meanwhile, tension ran high in Tarabha village this morning after the irate villagers set fire to the house, a tractor and a motorcycle of the prime accused. Besides, they also set fire to the paddy crop stack at the backyard of his house and severely thrashed the women who were present in the house. Earlier, the villagers had set fire to some shops of the other accused involved in the murder.

Following information, a fire brigade team rushed to the village and doused the fire. Following the incident, additional police force has been deployed in and around the village.

Sensing further trouble, the district administration clamped prohibitory order under section 144 in the village.

Protesting the murder of Rout who was a taxi driver, members of the Bhubaneswar Taxi Drivers’ Association staged a road blockade at Ram Mandir Square this morning demanding immediate arrest of the accused. The BJP leaders and workers also joined the demonstration with the Association.

“Salman Rout was an active member of the BJP. His commitment to the party will not go in waste. BJP strongly condemns the murder of Salman by the ruling BJD and has decided to take necessary steps to give justice to the family of Rout,” BJP state vice president Samir Mohanty told media persons in Bhubaneswar.

Meanwhile, the BJP today gave a 12-hour dawn-to-dusk bandh in Dhenkanal.

Announcing this to the media in Dhenkanal, former BJP MP Rudra Narayan Pani said his party has given the bandh call in protest against the murder of Salman Rout. All government and non-government offices, educational institutions and business establishments would remain closed while there would be vehicular traffic.

Reacting to the incident, Pani said not only the BJP workers and leaders who have strongly reacted to the incident, there is also tension in the entire district especially among the youths in Dhenkanal town. There is no administration in this state and the police are working as the agents of the ruling party,” said BJP leader Rudra Narayan Pani.

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