Odia movie ‘Patnagarh’ stayed by Bombay High Court

Bhubaneswar: One after the other, Odia movie ‘Patnagarh,’ which is based on the sensational wedding gift blast tragedy in Patnagarh of Bolangir district in Odisha, is running into hurdles preventing its release in theatres. The Bombay High Court on Monday reportedly ordered a stay on the release of the movie while hearing a petition filed by Soudamini Meher, the wife of Punjilal Meher – the alleged mastermind in wedding gift blast case of 2018. In her petition, Soudamini had sought a stay on the release of the movie and after hearing the matter, the court has also issued notices to all the parties to the case seeking a response within 2 weeks.

“Soudamini Meher had moved the Bombay HC challenging the release of the movie. As the movie is being released in Odia & Telugu and contains English subtitles, it comes under the jurisdiction of the Bombay High Court. Today, the CBFC informed the court that till the time the hearing on matter is not complete, it cannot be released. Sridhar Martha, Atul Kulkarni, Manoj Mishra, Sunita Krishnan, Rajesh Touchriver and Arun Bothra have been served notices by the court,” informed Soudamini’s lawyer, Tirtha Kumar Sahu.

Earlier in January, accusing the then Crime Branch IG, Arun Bothra, who was spearheading the investigation, of being one of the promoters of the movie, Soudamini had demanded an unconditional apology and threatened to file defamation suit of Rs 20 lakh if the official fails to do so.

Patnagarh is an adaptation of the sensational parcel bomb blast case of Patnagarh that claimed two lives in February 2018. On February 23, 2018, a bomb disguised in a gift parcel exploded inside the house of newly-wed couple at Patnagarh in Bolangir district. The explosion took the life of the groom, Soumya Shekhar Sahu and his grandmother, while the bride sustained grievous injuries. Later, Crime Branch’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by Arun Bothra cracked the case and arrested Punjilal in around 2 months. As per police sources, Punjilal had intended to kill Soumya Shekhar’s mother, who was the former’s colleague at Jyoti Vikash Junior College. Punjilal had plotted to eliminate her after she was made the principal of Jyoti Vikash Junior College.