BERHAMPUR: Police on Saturday arrested three members of a criminal gang that had spread terror in Ganjam’s Kodala and Khalikote besides other districts of the state.Ganjam ASP Ajay Mishra said Bibhu Jena (31), Ram Pal (31) and Sanjay Barik (30) were arrested from West Bengal. The trio has committed several crimes in Cuttack, Jharsuguda, Puri and Ganjam districts. More than 17 cases are registered against them in different districts. Besides, non-bailable warrants were issued in over a dozen of cases against them.
Incidentally, gang leader Bibhu was arrested by Bhubaneswar police after an encounter three years back. In the police encounter, he sustained bullet injuries on his leg which was later amputated. Despite being fitted with an artificial limb, Bibhu continued his criminal activities.
In April this year, the three criminals had demanded Rs 30 lakh extortion money from poultry owner farm Dwitikrushna Sahu of Kanchana village in Kodala. When Sahu did not comply, they hurled country bombs at his poultry farm. He had lodged a complaint in Kodala police station in this regard.
Police registered a case and during investigation, came to know that Bibhu and his gang members were involved in the incident. A special police team was formed to nab them. Basing on a tip-off that some of the gang members were hiding in WB, the team rushed to the neighbouring state and arrested Bibhu and Ram from their hideout. During interrogation, the duo revealed the location of Sanjay who was nabbed from Kodala.
The ASP said the trio confessed that they concealed firearms and bombs at an isolated place in Manikpur village. They were taken to the village for recovery of the arms and ammunition. One country-made pistol, eight live ammunition and four country bombs were seized.
Mishra said the gang was involved in criminal cases like murder, attempt to murder and extortion in different districts of Odisha. The three criminals were produced in court on Sunday. Efforts are underway to nab their other associates.