Five days after the gruesome murder of betel shop-owner Basanta Patra, whose beheaded body was found on the Devi Sidua river embankment near Korkora under Sadar Police limits on August 9, police on Tuesday claimed to have nabbed the killer.
Sanjeev Patra, a relative and a close acquaintance of Basanta, of the same Dhangharpada village was arrested with an illicit relationship at the core of the ghastly crime. Sanjeev had allegedly fallen for Basanta aka Bula’s wife and killed him for clearing the path of winning her. According to police, Sanjeev was very close to Basanta’s family to the extent that he was almost a member there. A real-estate dealer and a small-time transporter, he was a frequent visitor to Basanta’s house and spent considerable time there. He had allegedly developed feelings for Basanta’s wife at some point and decided to get rid of him.
He allegedly asked Basanta to accompany him to a function in the evening of August 8. The latter had left home informing his family members that he would return the next day. However, Basanta’s headless torso was found lying on the embankment road by people of Korkora, about 7 km from his village, on Thursday morning. His head was also recovered down the slope.
Police said both had left on a motorcycle. They had gone to different places and were going towards Korkora late in the night when Sanjeev stopped Basanta on the pretext of relieving himself. As Basanta looked the other way, Sanjeev whipped out a chapad (sharp-edged weapon), concealed beneath his shirt, and struck him in the neck. As Basanta fell down, Sanjeev continued his attack to sever the head. He then allegedly threw the head down the slope and the weapon into a bushy area.
He had fled the spot and returned to the village on Monday. Police took him in as a suspect. DCP Praveen Kumar told mediapersons here on Tuesday that Sanjeev had confessed to the crime. He has been produced in court.