Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bolangir/Cuttack, May 5:
In a historic verdict, the Odisha High Court on Monday awarded life imprisonment to nine accused involved in the brutal murder of a young political leader and journalist of Bolangir town in November, 1974.
Of the nine convicts awarded life imprisonment, three are alive while the other six are dead.
The convicts had attacked Parsuram Satpathy, a young and upcoming politician of Bolangir, and crushed him under a jeep.
Though the Bolangir Town Police had registered a case against the nine accused following a complaint by the family members of Satpathy, the accused were acquitted by a local court. The verdict was later upheld by the Odisha High Court.
However, justice prevailed after the Supreme Court directed the High Court to hear the case afresh.
“I offer my profound gratitude to the High Court for delivering the historic judgement at long last,” said Sitaram Satpathy, elder brother of Parsuram.
“The incident had taken place on November 29, 1974. It was on the day of Kartika Purnima and Lunar eclipse when the assailants had brutally attacked my brother and then ran a jeep over him. Not only our family and the people of Bolangir district, the entire state was shaken by the barbaric murder. The incident has remained as an indelible memory and would remain one till I am alive,” he said.
When asked about how he remembers his brother, Sitaram said; “Had he been alive, he would have become a top political leader and a journalist of the state. I am not saying this just because he was my brother. You ask his friends and colleagues. He was a promising young political leader and a talented journalist.”
“I must express my heartfelt gratitude to Late Haribandhu Swain and Prafulla Bohidar, who had taken up the case on behalf of my family. After their death, their two sons took up the case. Had we not separately filed the private complaint case in the Supreme Court, we would not have got the justice we had waited since last 41 years,” Sitaram said.
Reacting to the High Court verdict, Artatrana Singhdeo, one of the nine convcited, told the media that he would move the apex court against the sentencing.
Meanwhile, senior BJD leader and Rajya Sabha member AU Singhdeo said the mastermind of the crime must be brought to book to establish the truth behind the gory killing.