Manas Swain murder: Crime Branch to take Sarmistha, 3 others on remand from tomorrow

Bhadrak: The Crime Branch of Odisha Police will take four accused in the cameraman Manas Swain murder case including Sarmistha Rout on a five-day remand from tomorrow.

Earlier in the day, a joint team of Bhadrak Police and Crime Branch arrested Sarmistha and her associate Jhuna Bhoi from Nalanga area of Bhadrak district.

After a brief questioning, the two women were produced before the Chandbali Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) court that rejected their bail pleas. The court also allowed the Crime Branch to take Sarmistha and her associate Jhuna on a five-day remand.

Also, the Crime Branch will take other two accused, Niranjan Sethi and Ranjan Naik on a five-day remand. Earlier, the investigating agency had prayed before the court to take seven accused in the case in a 10-day remand.

Sarmistha Rout, an owner of a Bhubaneswar-based web channel ‘Sampurna’, was on run along with her associate Jhuna Bhoi after police initiated probe into the murder of Manas Swain.

The Bhadrak Police had earlier arrested five accused including former Information & Public Relations (I&PR) Director Niranjan Sethi and Sarmistha’s brother Parameswar Rout in connection with the murder case.

Later the murder case was handed over to the Crime Branch after Chandbali police was unable to nab the mastermind even after a month of the murder.

Manas Swain, a resident of Godipokhari village in Ranpur area of Nayagarh district, was allegedly kidnapped from Bhadrak district. He was working as a cameraman in the web portal run by Sarmistha. Reportedly, he was murdered at Dayal Ashram in Bhubaneswar, where the web channel was being operated, and the body was dumped in Nayagarh district. His body was exhumed from Badhipatna hills in Nayagarh district on March 12, weeks after he went missing from Chandbali area in Bhadrak district.

Initial probe revealed that Manas Swain was abducted, brutally assaulted and killed for possessing a microchip that is suspected to have contained some objectionable video clips.

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