Mahanga double murder case: HC stays coercive action against Odisha MLA Pratap Jena

Cuttack: In a relief for BJD MLA Pratap Jena in Mahanga double murder case, Orissa High Court today stayed coercive action against the legislator.

The court sought a record from the Court of Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC), Salipur, fixing the date for the next hearing to December 19.

On October 31, Jena skipped his appearance in the Salipur JMFC Court on health grounds. Through his counsel, he had submitted a petition in the court stating that the doctors had advised him the rest for one month.

The court had earlier served a notice to Jena directing him to appear before it on October 31 in connection with the murder of local BJP leader Kulamani Baral and his associate Dibyasingha Baral. The two were allegedly hacked to death near Jankoti village in Mahanga area of Cuttack district on January 2, 2021.

A case has been registered against the accused under Sections 302, 506 and 120-B of the IPC.

Kulamani was reportedly raising the issue of a few ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leaders’ alleged involvement in the misappropriation of funds under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).

Police had booked Jena, then Law Minister, and 12 others in the double murder case on the basis of an FIR lodged by Kulamani’s son Ranjit Kumar Baral.

However, Jena’s name was later dropped from the charge sheet.

Hearing a petition filed by Kulamani’s son, the Salipur JMFC court had directed the police to probe the allegations regarding the Mahanga MLA’s involvement in the case.


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