BHUBANESWAR: Retired Odisha Information Service (OIS) officer Niranjan Sethi had provided assistance to Sarmistha Rout after cameraman Manas Swain's murder in February.
The Crime Branch officers said Sarmistha, editor of Bhubaneswar based web-channel Sampurna, had visited Niranjan's house in Prasanti Vihar area of the City on March 8. He provided her Rs 10,000 cash and one car so that she and her associate Jhuna Bhoi could flee to Kaliapani in Jajpur district.
During interrogation, the retired OIS official revealed that he used to regularly visit Dayal Ashram, a shelter home for elderly people run by Sarmistha in the City, and her office here.
Niranjan visited Sarmistha's office on February 7 evening. Manas was reportedly brought to her office after being kept in confinement in Dayal Ashram. He also thrashed Manas as he was reportedly in possession of a memory chip having some 'valuable' content related to the accused. Niranjan left Sarmistha's office at about 10 pm on February 7.
On the day, the agency's officers took Sarmistha and Niranjan to Sampurna's office near the Sundarpada area of the City. During his questioning on the spot, Niranjan informed the officers about the various persons present in Sarmistha's office on February 7 when the cameraman was brought to the City after being kidnapped from Bhadrak district.
Crime Branch officers on Saturday also took Sarmistha to her rented accommodation near her office as part of their investigation.
Meanwhile, the agency will produce Sarmistha, Niranjan, Jhuna and Ranjan Nayak in a court on Sunday after the end of their five-day police remand.