Cuttack: Cuttack Rural Police have arrested two more persons in connection with the murder of BJP leader Kulamani Baral and his associate Dibya Singh Baral in Mahanga area of the district.
The accused have been identified as Chaitanya Sethi, younger brother of prime accused Panchanan Sethi, and Umesh Khatua. While Chaitanya was arrested from Nuapatna area here, Umesh was apprehended from Rajgangpur bus stand.
With this, the number of arrests in the case mounted to 7. Police had earlier apprehended Panchanan Sethi (28), Arabinda Khatua (27), Khitish Acharya (45), Lalit Mohan Baral (75), and Kailash Khatua over their alleged involvement in the killings.
The accused have been booked under Sections 147, 148, 120-B, 302, 149 of the IPC, and Sections 27 and 27 of Arms Act.
Prime accused Panchanan Sethi, while being taken to the court yesterday, accepted killing the duo to take revenge of the past enmity.
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.