NEARLY A fortnight after a newly wedded couple in Patnagarh, in Odisha’s Bolangir district, became victims of a blast after a gift parcel exploded in the groom’s house, sources in the district police claim to have significant leads in the case after confirmation that a young man had threatened the deceased, Soumya Sekhar Sahu, a year earlier over telephone.
On February 23, two bombs, allegedly kept in a gift they received for their wedding, went off. It killed Sahu, 26, a Bengaluru-based software engineer, and left his bride Reema, 23, severely injured. Sahu’s grandmother, Jenamani, 83, who was with the two at the time, was also killed.
They had married five days before, and were staying at Sahu’s parents’ home.
Sources said a youth was apprehended in Patnagarh on Tuesday, and the police took him for medical investigation as part of preparation for a polygraph test. Two others have also been detained in connection with the case.
Another police team has visited the engineering college in state capital Bhubaneswar where Sahu received his degree.
While a relative of the detained youth claimed that he is innocent, Reema’s brother Rakesh Sahu told The Indian Express, “This boy [caller] lives close to our home. He may have had some feelings [for Reema]… which were not acknowledged by Reema.”
Rakesh said his sister’s condition has improved.
Reema, 23, suffered burns and injuries in the blast and is still under treatment at the plastic surgery department of SCB Medical College, Cuttack.
Manoj Panigrahi, uncle of the detained youth, said: “We trust our boy — he cannot commit such a crime. We had good relations with the girl’s family. There was no enmity. We also want the culprit arrested. The case should be investigated by the CBI or the NIA.”
Additional DGP (Crime Branch) Santosh Kumar Upadhay said he has advised courier services operating in the state to “install CCTV cameras, retain copies of identity cards and telephone numbers of customers sending parcels”. Odisha Police plans to issue a detailed advisory to courier services soon.