The curious case of Odisha cameraman’s murder and an accused woman

Bhubaneswar: The mystery regarding the motive behind the alleged abduction and murder of Manas Swain, cameraman of a Bhubaneswar-based web channel, is yet to be unravelled.

While three accused– Bhagyadhar Nayak, Vivek Nayak and Krushna Chandra Nayak– have been arrested in this case, Sarmistha Rout, the prime accused and editor of the web channel, who allegedly orchestrated the kidnapping and killing has gone absconding and was yet to be apprehended.

Swain was allegedly kidnapped from Bhadrak on February 7 while he had gone there to shoot a wedding function. His family members had lodged a missing complaint with the Chandbali police on February 14.

During probe, police found the involvement of Bhagyadhar Nayak, Vivek Nayak and Krushna Chandra Nayak in abducting Swain and arrested the trio on March 12.

Investigation by police also revealed that the three accused murdered Swain in Bhubaneswar and buried the body in Nayagarh district. Police had exhumed Swain’s body from Ranapur area in the district on March 12.

“Sarmistha had hired the three persons while Swain was in possession of some controversial videos and photos, which could have landed her in trouble. She was trying the get the CPU chip containing the videos and photos,” Jatin Panda, ASP, Bhadrak had said.

The kidnappers allegedly abducted Swain when he was returning from Palaspur village under Chandbali police limits, took him to Bhubaneswar and kept him at an old age home namely ‘Dayal Ashram’, which is being run by Sarmistha.

“Swain was thrashed and killed at the old age home on the night of February 7. The three accused then took the body to Ranapur and buried it with an intention of destroying evidence. During questioning, they confessed to have committed the crime at the behest of Sarmistha,” the police official said.

The content of the photos and videos were yet to be ascertained. Besides, the exact reason for which Sarmistha planned to eliminate Swain remains unclear.

While Sarmistha is on the run, efforts were on by the Bhadrak police to trace and nab her.

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