Odisha: Man fakes death in crocodile attack to evade debts

Chittaranjan Mallick, a neighbour, revealed that the Mallick had been working as a daily wager in Punjab, and returned to the village last week.
Image used for representational purposes. (File photo)
Image used for representational purposes. (File photo)

KENDRAPARA: A debt-ridden man’s attempt to pull off a novel plan to fake his own death in crocodile attack in Kendrapara district went awry as he was traced and brought back within 24 hours. The 47-year-old Bikrant Mallick of Andara village under Pattamundai police limits had left behind his belongings on the Brahmani riverbank on Saturday to make people believe that he had been dragged in by a crocodile. The motive allegedly was to escape repaying debts and also securing a hefty compensation of Rs 6 lakh from the forest department.

Bikrant Mallick
Bikrant Mallick

Mallick was, however, traced in Cuttack on Sunday. The elaborate plan was busted following a thorough investigation aided by CCTV footage and mobile tracking by police. Initially, the villagers found his shoes, clothes, and motorcycle near the riverbank on Saturday morning. They believed him to be dead in crocodile attack due to a spate of similar incidents in the area.

After police was informed, the CCTV footage was checked and his mobile was put on the tracking system on Sunday. “We tracked him in Cuttack and asked him to come to the police station.

Accordingly, he returned and interrogation is on. We will take proper legal action after due inquiry,” said the IIC of Pattamundai police station, Ranjit Mohanty.

As per preliminary investigation, Mallick confessed to have faked his death by leaving his bike and clothes near the river ghat so that his family can get a compensation of Rs 6 lakh compensation from the forest department.  Suspecting his wife and other family members’ involvement in his plan, police are interrogating them as well.  

Chittaranjan Mallick, a neighbour, revealed that the Mallick had been working as a daily wager in Punjab, and returned to the village last week. He had taken huge amount of loans from some villagers. On his return to the village, they began to press him to repay the debts. He then reportedly hatched the plan to fake his death to help his wife get the compensation amount from the forest department and clear the loans, he said.

Divisional forest officer Sudrashan Gopinath Yadav, stated that the forest department had previously dealt with false compensation claims related to crocodile attacks, and in this case too, a thorough inquiry will be conducted.

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