Odisha BJP leader murder: 4 accused arrested

Cuttack: As many as four accused have been arrested in connection with the murder of BJP leader Kulamani Baral and his associate Dibya Singh Baral.

They have been identified as prime accused Panchanan Sethi (28), Arabinda Khatua (27), Khitish Acharya (45), and Lalit Mohan Baral (75). A blood-stained sword and bamboo lathis used as weapon of offence have been seized by police, an official said.

The accused have been booked under Sections 147, 148, 120-B, 302, 149 of the IPC, and Sections 27 and 27 of Arms Act.

The Cuttack Rural police had formed five teams to apprehend the accused. The teams last night carried out raids at various places in Mahanga area and arrested the four. Efforts were on by the police to nab other accused persons, reports said.

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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