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Court orders probe against Odisha Law Minister Pratap Jena over BJP leaders' murder

One of the deceased's son had filed the petition on August 16 accusing Mahanga police of dropping the Law Minister's name from the chargesheet. 

Published: 27th August 2021 10:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th August 2021 10:28 AM   |  A+A-

Odisha Housing and Urban Development Minister Pratap Jena

Odisha Housing and Urban Development Minister Pratap Jena

By Express News Service

CUTTACK: Trouble seems to be mounting for State Law Minister Pratap Jena with a local court directing fresh investigation into his alleged involvement in the brutal killing of two BJP leaders at Mahanga in January this year.

The court of the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Salepur's direction came in response to a protest petition filed by Ramakant Baral, son of one of the deceased BJP leaders and former Mahanga block chairman Kulamani Baral.

Ramakant had filed the petition on August 16 accusing Mahanga police of dropping the Law Minister's name from the chargesheet. 

The petition alleged that the investigation conducted by the investigating officer (IO) was perfunctory as he completely overlooked the allegations against Jena even after his name was mentioned in the FIR filed by Ramakant and statement recorded under section 161 of CrPC.

The complainant had also categorically alleged that the IO did not examine the material evidence and falsely recorded the statement of witness under section 161 of CrPC in order to shield the minister. 

Besides, incriminating materials against the minister were not collected by the IO, the complainant alleged while praying the court for examination of witnesses whose names are furnished in the petition and an impartial investigation into the allegations against Jena.

Hearing the case, the court observed that a thorough investigation is required in the light of the allegations raised by the complainant in his petition and directed Mahanga IIC to take up further investigation expeditiously into allegations of Jena’s involvement in the case. 

On January 2 evening, Kulamani and his associate Dibya Singh Baral of Nrutanga were brutally attacked by some miscreants with sharp weapons near Jankoti when they were returning home on a motorcycle. 

The two were rushed to the Mahanga community health centre where doctors declared Kulamani brought dead. Dibya Singh was shifted to the SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack, where he succumbed while undergoing treatment. 

Around one month later Prafulla Biswal, one of the accused in the case was found dead under mysterious circumstances on a road near Tangi. Police have so far arrested 10 people in connection with the double murder case.



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