Another accused arrested in Odisha BJP leader murder case

Cuttack: The Cuttack Rural Police have arrested another person in connection with the murder of BJP leader Kulamani Baral and his associate Dibya Singh Baral. The accused has been identified as Kailash Khatua.

With this, the number of arrests in the case mounted to 5. Police had earlier apprehended Panchanan Sethi (28), Kailash’s son Arabinda Khatua (27), Khitish Acharya (45), and Lalit Mohan Baral (75).

The accused have been booked under Sections 147, 148, 120-B, 302, 149 of the IPC, and Sections 27 and 27 of Arms Act. A blood-stained sword and bamboo lathis used as weapon of offence have been seized by police.

Ramakant Baral, son of Kulamani, had filed an FIR with the Mahanga police accusing minister Pratap Jena and 13 others in the killing. The complainant alleged that his father had told him that the Law Minister threatened to kill both of them. “The Minister is completely responsible for the murder of my father. The miscreants killed him on the local MLA’s direction as he raised his voice against various corruptions, including housing scam,” he said.

Kulamani and Dibya Singh were critically injured after allegedly being attacked by some miscreants with sharp weapons near Jankoti in Cuttack district on January 2 evening when the duo was returning home on a motorcycle.

The victims were immediately taken in an ambulance to the Mahanga Community Health Centre, where doctor declared Kulamani brought dead while Dibya Singh was shifted to the SCB Medical College and Hospital. However, he succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment at the hospital.

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