Odisha police plea against re-investigating 2 local BJP leaders’ murder rejected

Local BJP leader Kulamani Baral’s family alleged that his murder was linked to a campaign against local leaders of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leaders linked to alleged irregularities related to PMAY houses. Odisha police, they said, was trying to shield law minister Pratap Jena
The Odisha police FIR registered on the statement of local BJP leader Kulamani Baral’s son blamed law minister Pratap Jena and 12 others for Baral’s murder. Investigators, however, could not find any evidence to link the minister (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The Odisha police FIR registered on the statement of local BJP leader Kulamani Baral’s son blamed law minister Pratap Jena and 12 others for Baral’s murder. Investigators, however, could not find any evidence to link the minister (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Published on Dec 09, 2021 12:37 AM IST
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ByDebabrata Mohanty

BHUBANESWAR: An Odisha court on Wednesday rejected the state police’s plea challenging a magisterial court’s decision to order a re-investigation into the murder of two local Bharatiya Janata Party leaders in a Cuttack village and require the police to produce the call data records, or CDR, of three persons considered to be close to law minister Pratap Jena.

In August, the court of judicial magistrate first class in Salipur area of Cuttack district ordered a fresh probe into the case. Three months later, in November, the court also asked the police to submit the call detail records of Mahanga panchayat samiti chairman Sarat Nayak, Bapi Biswal, a representative of law minister Pratap Jena and Prafulla Biswal, the main accused who died in a road accident in February, a month after the two murders.

Additional district cum sessions judge in Salipur, Dhanurdhar Senapati, on Wednesday rejected the revision petition filed by police against the magistrate’s order.

Kulamani Baral, 75, in charge of Salipur mandal of BJP and a former chairman of Mahanga panchayat samiti and his 80-year-old associate Dibyasingh Baral were killed on January 2 near Cuttack’s Jankoti village on their way home on a motorcycle.

While Kulamani died on the spot, Dibyasingh Baral died the following morning at Cuttack’s SCB Medical College and Hospital.

Kulamani Baral’s family alleged that the murder was linked to his campaign against local leaders of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leaders over alleged irregularities related to PMAY houses meant for poor people.

The first information report (FIR) registered by the police on the statement of Kulamani Baral’s son blamed law minister Pratap Jena and 12 others for the murder. Investigators, however, could not find any evidence to link the minister and did not name him in the charge sheet.

Baral’s son asked judicial magistrate to get the murders reinvestigated, alleging that the police shielded him during their probe and kept his name out.

As Mahanga police station inspector Nihar Mohanty did not submit the CDR or the reinvestigation report, the judicial magistrate court last week issued a show-cause notice to him asking him to explain as to why coercive and punitive action will not be taken against him for not appearing before the court.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022