Family claims innocence of Odia youth arrested in connection with TDP MLA’s murder

Koraput: Family members of the Odia youth Damburu Khila, who was arrested in connection with the murder of TDP MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao and ex-MLA Siveri Soma, on Saturday claimed innocence of the accused and demanded his release.

Damburu was arrested by Padua Police in Koraput district on February 8 this year in connection with the murder of Rao and Soma, who were shot dead by Maoists on September 23 last year while returning from an event in Araku valley in Andhra Pradesh.

Damburu is not a Maoist and has no links with the red rebels, said Jayanti, wife of the accused. “He is a mason and used to work as a labourer to earn a living for me and my two children,” she said.

Besides, Chatua sarpanch Purnachandra Golari and locals of Kodikhal (village of the accused) claimed innocence of Damburu and demanded his release. Moreover, the villagers along with the sarpanch and Jayanti met the local district administration and Koraput SP in this regard and submitted a memorandum on Saturday.

“The district administration failed to arrest the culprits who killed the TDP MLA and hence, arrested an innocent local labourer. We will stage protest if the administration does not release him within seven days,” said Golari.

On the other hand, Koraput Additional SP, VR Rao said that police must have arrested Damburu after finding some evidence against him. “The case is under investigation. We will contact National Investigation Agency (NIA) to know details of the evidence against him and take further action,” he added.

It is worth mentioning that, after the arrest, Damburu was produced before a SDJM court and taken on remand by NIA for further investigation.