Patnagarh wedding gift blast: Odisha CB arrests prime accused

Balangir: In a major development in the Patnagarh wedding gift blast incident, the Crime Branch (CB) of the Odisha Police arrested three persons including the prime accused in the case, reports said.

The arrested have been identified as Punjilal Meher, English lecturer of Jyoti Vikash Junior College at Bhainsa here and his two aides. The trio was arrested after marathon grilling by the Crime Branch officials.

Punjilal had masterminded the entire episode, sources said, adding that a dispute was prevailing between him and deceased Soumya Sekhar’s mother Sanjukta, principal of the college, over the post. Punjilal served as the principal of the college before being replaced by Sanjukta and was reluctant to hand over the charge to her.

The investigators had yesterday seized a cache of crude explosives from the paternal house of Punjilal at Rampur under Patnagarh NAC. Several employees of the college were also interrogated in connection with the incident.

Notably, Reema Rani’s husband Soumya Sekhar and his grandmother Jemamani were killed when a bomb wrapped as a wedding gift blasted while unwrapping the same on February 23, four days after the couple’s marriage.

Also read: Odisha wedding gift blast survivor Reema discharged from SCB hosp.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had ordered for a Crime Branch probe into the sensational incident. A special investigation team (SIT) of the Crime Branch was investigating into the matter.

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