Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 18:
In the sensational murder case of mines trader Rasmi Ranjan Mohapatra, his family members have hinted at moving to Odisha High Court to challenge the verdict of Additional District Judge Court-II of Bhubaneswar.
“Only five of the accused were convicted. Other six were freed. They kidnapped him and murdered him out of state. How could we produce any witness! I expected capital punishment. I got nothing from the judgment. We will challenge it in the higher court,” said Rasmi Ranjan’s widow Satyabhama Mohapatra.
“They killed my husband, took away our money..I lost everything. The judgement didn’t do justice to the one and half year long ordeal I went through. My husband’s soul would rest in peace only if they are hanged,” added a visibly disturbed Satyabhama.
It may be mentioned here that yesterday Public Prosecutor Sudhanshu Sekhar Swain had also stated that the state of Odisha will file an appeal against the other six who were acquitted in the upper court.
Notably, after eight long years of trial, the Additional District Judge Court-II of Bhubaneswar yesterday pronounced the verdict and sentenced top gangster Hyder and two of his associates– Bhabani Shankar and Sarat Sahoo– to life-imprisonment. The court had also awarded 10 years imprisonment to two other accused- Ganapati Ray and Jajati while acquitting six persons due to lack of evidence in the sensational murder case.
While the cops had registered cases against 14 accused including prime accused Hyder, the court had recorded the statement of 46 witnesses in the case. Out of the 14 accused, 11 were facing trials. As per yesterday’s verdict, five of them have been convicted and six have been acquitted. Besides, Hyder’s juvenile son Chunni alias Nasir Akhtar, who received the ransom, is yet to face trial and two others are still on the run.
Rashmi, a mines trader of Keonjhar, had been kidnapped from Sahid Nagar area in Bhubaneswar on May 27, 2007. The kidnappers had demanded a ransom of Rs 2 crore from his family members and had been paid Rs 1 crore by his family members for his release.
His abductors, however, went on to shoot him to death. The investigating cops later discovered two half-charred bodies from Jamshedpur area and his identity was established through DNA testing.