BHADRAK: Police on Sunday cracked the mystery behind the kidnap of assistant teacher Antaryami Padhan with the arrest of his brother-in-law Debanand Padhan. Debanand’s role came to light after Bargarh police brought on remand the three accused arrested by Balangir police on Friday.
The three, Nandi Nayak (24), Siba Shankar Khansama (23) and Ashok Kumar Pujari, revealed during interrogation that they were hired by Debanand, younger brother of Sujata Padhan, Chairman of Bheden block in Bargarh district.
Bargarh SP B Jugal Kishore said Debanand believed that Sujata and Antaryami were in possession of gold biscuit recovered from his courtyard and demanded a share of the booty. But as there was no such thing, Sujata denied. Debanand then entered into a conspiracy to kidnap his brother-in-law and recover his share as ransom.
On the fateful day, the accused waylaid Antaryami at Talmenda while he was on his way to school on motorcycle and kidnapped him using a car, which was seized by Balangir police.
One of the accused drove away the motorcycle to Amat in Kalahandi where they kept Antaryami in an isolated house. Later, they forced Antaryami to call up Sujata and ask her to hand over all the cash and gold ornaments in the house along with licensed firearms and ammunition. Subsequently, two among the criminals, Mahesh Behera and Nani Nayak, reached the house of Sujata and collected all the belongings, including hard disc of the CCTV to wipe out evidence.
Not satisfied with the booty collected, they called up Sujata again and demanded 3.5 kg gold for safe release of her husband and safety of her two sons.
Scared, Sujata informed the police, who swung into action and rescued Antaryami on November 26. Tracking movement of the gang, they tipped Patnargarh Police who cornered them and arrested three among them while Mahesh shot himself dead after being surrounded by police.
Police also arrested Debanand’s aide Biswapati Sahu (30) for entering into a conspiracy with the criminals.
Police seized the car which had in it four different number plates, two ATM cards of the victim, three empty cartridges, three firearms, chloroform and sedative ampoule.