Bhubaneswar: In a major breakthrough in cameraman Manas Swain murder case, Odisha Police arrested prime accused Sarmistha Rout, who was at large.
A joint team of Bhadrak Police and Crime Branch arrested Sarmistha and her associate Jhuna Bhoi from Nalanga area of Bhadrak district, police informed in a statement today.
Both the accused persons will be produced before the JMFC court in Chandbali today.
The Crime Branch, which is probing the case, will pray before the court seeking remand of Sarmistha and Jhuna Bhoi along with five more accused persons arrested earlier for a period of 10 days for interrogation.
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.
Earlier, Police had arrested five accused persons including former Information & Public Relations (I&PR) Director Niranjan Sethi and Sarmistha’s brother Parameswar Rout in connection with the murder case.
Also Read: Manas Swain murder case: Prime accused Sarmistha Rout’s brother held
The case was handed over to the Crime Branch after Chandbali police was unable to nab the mastermind even after a month of the murder.
Two teams led by Deputy SP Kalpana Sahu were formed to investigate the case. One team had left for Bhadrak as Manas was allegedly kidnapped near Digachhia in the district on February 7 morning. Another team was engaged to trace Sarmistha, who was absconding.
Earlier, Chandbali police had launched a manhunt to trace Sarmistha days after she appeared before them twice for interrogation in connection with mysterious disappearance of Manas Swain. The local police maintained that they did not arrest her due to lack of evidence against her during initial probe.
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 dumbed 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 indicated that Manas Swain was abducted, brutally assaulted and killed for possessing a microchip that is suspected to have contained some obscene video clips.
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