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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Odisha teacher case: Police say killing pre-planned; BJP’s 12-hr shutdown hits life

The family of the deceased filed a complaint against the accused, alleging she mysteriously disappeared after accompanying him in his car to Bhawanipatna on October 8.

By: Express News Service | Bhubaneswar |
Updated: October 21, 2021 4:16:30 am
The remains were recovered along with the teacher's belongings from an under-construction stadium in Kalahandi on Tuesday.

A day after arresting the prime accused in the teacher murder case, Odisha police said the killing was pre-planned, even as a 12-hour bandh called by the BJP hit normal life in Kalahandi. The teacher’s belongings, inlcuding an anklet and purse, were dug out along with skeletal remains from an under-construction stadium in Kalahandi district on Tuesday, 11 days after she was reported missing.

The family of the deceased filed a complaint against the accused, alleging she mysteriously disappeared after accompanying him in his car to Bhawanipatna on October 8. While the woman was the warden of the girl’s hostel of a Kalahandi school, the accused was the President of its managing committee.

DIG (northern range) Deepak Kumar said, “We have enough evidence that suggests the murder was pre-planned. The accused has also confessed to the same. We also have CCTV footage of the two together prior to the murder.”

“The victim had come to know about the accused’s extra-marital affair and had allegedly threatened to expose him,” Kumar said.

According to the police, the accused first strangulated the teacher in his car and then took it to the Mahaling stadium on October 8 night. “He first burned the body using cardboard and tyre, and then covered the pit,” Kumar said. The accused was produced in court on Wednesday and the police were granted five-day remand for further investigation.

Those arrested include stadium clerk, the driver of the accused and the operator of the earthmover used to dig the 8-foot pit.

“This case is being closely monitored by senior officers, its chargesheet will be filed soon and trial would be conducted in a fast track court,” Kumar said.

Meanwhile, pressing for an immediate resignation of Minister of State for Home D S Mishra for reportedly facilitating the escape of the accused, the BJP held a 12-hour shutdown. The accused, reportedly Mishra’s close aide, escaped from a police barrack on Sunday night after he was picked up for questioning. He was later arrested from a sugarcane field on Tuesday.

The shutdown saw BJP workers protest in front of government offices, blocking roads in some places and burning tyres. A group of BJP Mahila Morcha members even attempted to enter Mishra’s residence, and additional forces had to be deployed there.

There was tension as ruling BJD workers came face to face with demonstrating BJP workers near Naktiguda here. However, the BJD workers left soon after while the picketing by BJP continued. The BJP has also called for a Bolangir bandh on Thursday as well.

Leader of the Opposition, BJP’s P K Naik, has written to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik demanding a CBI probe into the case and Mishra’s resignation.

Both the Congress and BJP approached Governnor Ganeshi Lal on Wednesday, seeking Mishra’s removal for his alleged links with the accused. The ruling BJD has criticised the opposition parties for politicising a sensitive criminal case and said the law will take its own course.

The National Commission for Women has issued a statement that it has taken suo motu cognisance of a media post alleging that the missing teacher was raped, killed and dumped at the site. With PTI inputs

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