Wedding gift blast case: Crime Branch submits 76-page final chargesheet

Bolangir: After investigating the Patnagarh wedding gift blast case for almost 11 months, the Crime Branch of Odisha Police today submitted the final chargesheet before the Bolangir Additional District and Sessions Court. The Crime Branch submitted a 76-page final chargesheet against the prime accused Punjilal Meher after examining 76 witnesses in the Patnagarh wedding gift blast in which two persons—Soumyasekhar Sahu and his grandmother were killed on February 23, 2018. Earlier, the preliminary chargesheet in connection with the case was filed in August last year.

In the chargesheet, the investigating agency has mentioned about several material evidences and statements of the scientific team which is likely to play a crucial role in seeking conviction in the case, sources said.

“Two staff of a Raipur-based courier company had identified Punjilal during the TI parade and their statements were recorded. During the psychological test conducted on Punjilal, the team of the investigating agency found his complicity in the case,” said Anil Das, SP of the Crime Branch.

He added motorcycle receipts recovered from Punjilal substantiates that he had gone to Raipur.

Besides, the agency examined the laboratory report regarding the test conducted on the video recorded during crime reconstruction in which Punjilal demonstrated how he prepared the parcel bomb. This clearly shows that the accused knew how to make bombs, Das added.

Earlier, the Crime Branch filed a 300-page preliminary chargesheet against sole accused Punjilal at SDJM Court in Patnagarh. As per the Crime Branch officials, Punjilal had hatched the conspiracy to settle his personal scores with Sanjukta- mother of deceased Soumyashekhar after she took over as the new Principal of Jyoti Vikash College in Bhainsa. Prior to Sanjukta’s appointment, Punjilal was holding the post of Principal in the college.

The newly-wed groom Soumyasekhar and his grandmother were killed in an explosion while opening a parcel which they had received as wedding gift in Bolangir district on February 23, 2018. Deceased Soumyasekhar’s wife Reema Sahoo had also sustained critical injuries in the incident.

The Crime Branch took charge of the probe in the wedding gift blast case from the Patnagarh police on March 23 last year.

“The Crime Branch has submitted the final chargesheet in the case. Earlier, the investigating agency submitted an interim chargesheet hastily within 120 days of the case so that bail could be denied to Punjilal. I believe they (Crime Branch) don’t have any evidence and everything is fabricated as it took the crime branch 11 months to file the final chargesheet,” Srimad Panigrahi, Punjilal’s counsel.

Meanwhile, the Crime Branch has not been able to track down the three main eyewitnesses – the auto-rickshaw driver and two cycle-rickshaw pullers who took Punjilal to the courier agency in Raipur from where he had dispatched the parcel bomb.