Mumbai Police arrested six accused of running the racket. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Mumbai Police arrested six accused of running the racket. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Suspect in rape case that ousted a CM finally held

Police said 50-year-old Bibekananda Biswal, alias Biban, was picked up from Maharashtra’s Aamby Valley township on Sunday. He was working as a plumber, allegedly masquerading as a man identified as Jalandhar Swain, said Bhubaneswar-Cuttack police commissioner Sudhansu Sarangi.
By Debabrata Mohanty, Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
UPDATED ON FEB 23, 2021 09:33 AM IST

After 22 years, Odisha Police have arrested the third and the last accused in a gang rape case that triggered state-wide outcry and led to the ouster of then Congress chief minister JB Patnaik in 1999, officials said on Monday.

Police said 50-year-old Bibekananda Biswal, alias Biban, was picked up from Maharashtra’s Aamby Valley township on Sunday. He was working as a plumber, allegedly masquerading as a man identified as Jalandhar Swain, said Bhubaneswar-Cuttack police commissioner Sudhansu Sarangi.

“After getting a tip-off on Biswal, we started ‘Operation Silent Viper’ to catch hold of him. With the help of Pune Rural police, we tracked him down...,” Sarangi told the press in Bhubaneswar.

Sarangi said Biswal got an Aadhaar card and a new voter identity card made in his fake name. “He used to send money to his family. He was asking his family to get a death certificate made so that Biban Biswal can be shown as dead in police records. We have informed the CBI about his arrest and waiting to hand him over,” Sarangi said.

Biswal, Padia Sahoo, then 26, and Dhirendra Mohanty, then 25, were named in the gang rape of Anjana Mishra, then 29, on a desolate stretch of a highway connecting Cuttack and state capital Bhubaneswar on the night of January 9, 1999. The three intercepted her and her journalist friend while they were on their way to Bhubaneswar. Her friend was held at gunpoint.

The incident came about a year and half after Mishra, the estranged wife of an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer, accused Indrajit Ray, the then Odisha advocate general, of molesting her in his chamber. In her first information report (FIR), Mishra alleged that top functionaries of the government ordered the rape to silence her.

The gang rape of Mishra became a politically sensitive case and eventually led to the stepping down of then CM JB Patnaik at the insistence of the Congress high command.

As the news of Biswal became public, Mishra demanded that he be hanged till death. At a press conference in Bhubaneswar on Monday, she accused the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the case, of denying her justice.

“Over the years, multiple attempts have been made to eliminate me. My house (Bhubaneswar) was vandalised. I was not allowed to stay in my house. I am forced to live with my mother (in the same city),” Mishra, who has separated from her husband, said. She alleged that Biswal evaded arrest for years due to a section of Congress leaders backing him.

Congress legislator Suresh Routray, however, dismissed the charge. “It is a laughable allegation. We are happy that Biswal has been arrested,” said Routray.

At the time of the incident, Mishra was locked in a marital dispute with her husband. On July 11, 1997, she visited the chamber of then advocate general Ray to discuss a case of dowry harassment.Later, she alleged that Ray tried to sexually harass her.

On February 2, 2000, a CBI court in Bhubaneswar found Ray guilty of molesting Mishra and sentenced him to three years of imprisonment and handed him a 5,000 fine. He was arrested the same day but released minutes later on a bail bond of 40,000 and two sureties. He appealed against the order in a higher court, but died in 2008 before the judgment was out.

In her FIR, Mishra accused CM JB Patnaik of engineering the gang rape so as to scare her into withdrawing the case against Ray, a friend of the Congress leader. As opposition parties mounted pressure for his resignation, JB Patnaik quit his post on February 17, 1999. In April 2000, assembly elections were held and a government by the Biju Janata Dal, which is still ruling the state, came to power.

Sahoo and Mohanty were arrested in January 1999, days after the crime. The Orissa high court ordered a CBI investigation into the gang rape case and a charge sheet was filed that May. In April 2002, a CBI court in Bhubaneswar sentenced Sahoo and Mohanty to life imprisonment and fined each of them 5,000. The high court upheld that verdict in 2010. Sahoo died in 2020, while Mohanty is serving his sentence in special jail of Bhubaneswar.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Mehul Choksi siphoned off close to <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>7,080 crore in the <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>13,578 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud before fleeing to Antigua on January 4, 2018, a month before the mega-scam came to notice.(HT Photo)
Mehul Choksi siphoned off close to 7,080 crore in the 13,578 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud before fleeing to Antigua on January 4, 2018, a month before the mega-scam came to notice.(HT Photo)

Antigua revokes citizenship of Mehul Choksi

By Neeraj Chauhan, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 12:57 AM IST
The development was confirmed to HT by at least two officers in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED), who added that the fugitive businessman is currently fighting revocation of his citizenship in an Antiguan civil court.
Close
The new rules that will cover over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix and Hotstar, social media intermediaries such as Facebook and Twitter, and digital news media, were notified by the government on Thursday.
The new rules that will cover over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix and Hotstar, social media intermediaries such as Facebook and Twitter, and digital news media, were notified by the government on Thursday.

New rules make way for self-regulation: I&B ministry secretary

By Deeksha Bhardwaj, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 12:31 AM IST
“There will be no authoritarian process,” information and broadcasting ministry secretary Amit Khare told Hindustan Times. “The regulation system is accountable to the courts. Any misuse of power can be checked.”
Close
After the elephant attacked and killed the man, it moved southwards leaving behind the 2-year-old calf, which is still in the village. (FOREST DEPT).
After the elephant attacked and killed the man, it moved southwards leaving behind the 2-year-old calf, which is still in the village. (FOREST DEPT).

Chhattisgarh man trampled to death while trying to take selfie with an elephant

PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 12:20 AM IST
  • The kin of the deceased have been given an instant relief amount of 25,000 and the body has been sent for post-mortem.
Close
People above 65 years of age, those with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 years of age should take necessary precautions, the government advised. In picture - people near the Marina beach in Chennai.(ANI)
People above 65 years of age, those with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 years of age should take necessary precautions, the government advised. In picture - people near the Marina beach in Chennai.(ANI)

Tamil Nadu extends Covid-19 lockdown till March 31

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Srivatsan K C, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 11:36 PM IST
The state government, in its new order on Sunday, said that the lockdown is being extended to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus effectively and also asked all district administrations to enforce strict Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.
Close
Amravati is under lockdown as Covid-19 cases witnessed a sudden uptick. (ANI)
Amravati is under lockdown as Covid-19 cases witnessed a sudden uptick. (ANI)

Feb spike of Covid-19 in several states: What we know about mutants, variants

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 11:04 PM IST
Mutations eventually accumulate to generate variants that differ from the original virus more and more.
Close
Teachers cited stress nearly twice as often as insufficient pay as a reason for quitting. (Praful Gangurde/HT Photo)
Teachers cited stress nearly twice as often as insufficient pay as a reason for quitting. (Praful Gangurde/HT Photo)

Stress key reason for teachers to quit job before, during pandemic: Study

ANI, Washington
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 10:08 PM IST
Most former teachers went on to take jobs with less or equal pay, with 3 in 10 taking jobs with no health insurance or retirement benefits.
Close
Health ministry on Sunday released a detailed guideline on how to self-register for vaccine on Co-Win app.
Health ministry on Sunday released a detailed guideline on how to self-register for vaccine on Co-Win app.

How to register on Co-Win: Ministry releases step-by-step guideline

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 11:17 PM IST
Booking once made on Co-Win app can be rescheduled to even a vaccination centre of another city, in case people have to travel between the two doses of vaccination
Close
File photo: National Conference president and former J-K PM Farooq Abdullah. (HT Photo)
File photo: National Conference president and former J-K PM Farooq Abdullah. (HT Photo)

'Congress must unite to defeat ‘divisive’ forces': Farooq Abdullah

UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:59 PM IST
  • “I want the Congress party to be strong. I want the Congress to unite and fight the divisive forces," he said.
Close
Union Minister for Health &amp; Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan.(ANI)
Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan.(ANI)

Health Minister lauds contributions of medical professionals in pandemic

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:58 PM IST
He made these remarks at the Global Indian Physicians Congress, organised by the Global Association for Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPIO), through video conference, the ministry said in a statement.
Close
The average voting percentage across all these local bodies together was around 60.26 per cent, it said.(HT Photo )
The average voting percentage across all these local bodies together was around 60.26 per cent, it said.(HT Photo )

Over 60% voter turnout recorded in Gujarat local body polls

PTI, Ahmedabad
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:24 PM IST
As per the provisional figures, voter turnout of 54.95 per cent across 81 municipalities, 62.41 per cent in 31 district panchayats, and 63.42 per cent in 231 taluka panchayat, was recorded, the State Election Commission (SEC) said.
Close
A farmer sleeps inside a mosquito net during a protest against the new farm laws, at the Singhu border in New Delhi on Sunday. (ANI Photo)
A farmer sleeps inside a mosquito net during a protest against the new farm laws, at the Singhu border in New Delhi on Sunday. (ANI Photo)

Delhi sees 2nd highest mean maximum temperature for Feb since 1901

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:09 PM IST
The highest mean maximum temperature recorded for February in Delhi was 29.7 degrees Celsius in 2006, the IMD officials said.
Close
Congress leader Rashid Alvi said that his party will have work round the clock and formulate a strategy in the upcoming polls to fight BJP.(File photo)
Congress leader Rashid Alvi said that his party will have work round the clock and formulate a strategy in the upcoming polls to fight BJP.(File photo)

Appreciating BJP's work ethics, Rashid Alvi says Congress must work 24/7

ANI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 08:59 PM IST
Alvi also commented on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's regret that he could not learn Tamil Nadu, during his monthly radio programme Maan Ki Baat.
Close
A health worker during a dry run for the administration of Covid-19 vaccine.(ANI/ File photo)
A health worker during a dry run for the administration of Covid-19 vaccine.(ANI/ File photo)

News updates from HT: Dry run at 4 govt-run hospitals in Pune tomorrow

PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 08:56 PM IST
Here are today’s top news, analysis and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
Congress flags waves at rallies
Congress flags waves at rallies

Congress faces uphill battle in poll-bound states

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 08:40 PM IST
Barring Kerala, where the party feels it is poised to defeat the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), the Congress is beset with ally troubles in all other poll-bound states-- Assam, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu -- and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
Close
A health worker wearing a PPE kit collects a swab sample of an old lady for the Covid-19 test at Dadar railway station. (ANI Photo)
A health worker wearing a PPE kit collects a swab sample of an old lady for the Covid-19 test at Dadar railway station. (ANI Photo)

8,293 new cases in Maharashtra as Covid-19 spike continues amid lockdown, curbs

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:18 PM IST
There are 12 active containment zones in Mumbai and 133 buildings have been sealed, according to data released by the Bhrihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP