A day after the chilling murder of Biju Yuva Janata Dal leader Abhimanyu Sahoo in Titlagarh, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday ordered a Crime Branch probe into the incident.
Naveen also expressed his shock over the murder and said strong action will taken against the culprits. A four-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) left for Balangir to take over the inquiry. The SIT, headed by an Additional SP-ranked officer, will be assisted by an Inspector and an SI of the Cyber Crime Cell of the CB.
While the local police have made no headway in the case so far, preliminary investigation suggests that Sahoo was attacked by more than one person. The CCTV footage available suggested that Sahoo was being followed by at least three vehicles __ a bike, an Ambassador car and a Scorpio. Police believe a group of six to eight people may have been involved in the crime.
Besides, the BYJD leader, standing at 5’10”, was strongly built who could have easily escaped through the open fields had he been chased by one or two persons. He was believed to have been captured and overpowered by the group which slit his throat and left him to die from bleeding. As of now, no eye-witness to the killing has been reported.
The investigating team will have to look into a number of angles to probe the murder. Sahoo enjoyed clout in the district, not only politically but also financially. He could have earned enemies over political rivalry as well as financial dealings.
The Crime Branch may also look at the role of trade unions in the region. In 2011, a senior executive of a steel plant was burnt alive by a mob and the investigating team will also examine if the murder has any connection with the incident.
Additional Director-General of Police, Crime Branch, B K Sharma said the team will begin its investigation immediately after reaching Titlagarh.
“The SIT will look into all possible angles. A cyber crime officer has been included in the SIT for analysis of the call details as well as CCTV footage,” he said.
On Sunday, Sahoo went for morning walk, but did not return. His body was later found with the throat slit.