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CB Probe On Russian Death

Cuttack: Odisha Police DGP Sunil Bansal on Tuesday ordered a Crime Branch investigation into the mysterious death of two Russian tourists including a lawmaker Pavel Antov in Rayagada district last week.

“DGP, Odisha has ordered CID-Crime Branch to take over enquiry into Rayagada Police Station UD Case No.34/2022 & No.35/2022. These cases relate to the unnatural death of two Russian nationals in Rayagada Dist,” the Odisha Police said in a tweet.  

Vladimir Bidenov, a close friend of Mr.Antov, was found lying unconscious in his hotel room on December 22. When he was taken to Rayagada district headquarters hospitals, the doctor declared him dead, police said.

Following the approval of Russian Authority in India, the body of Vladimir Bidenov was cremated in Rayagada.

Mr.Antov, stated to be a member of the legislative assembly of Russia’s Vladimir region, was found with a pool of blood outside the same hotel on December 24, the police said.

Police is yet to ascertain whether Mr.Antov accidentally fell off the terrace of the hotel room or committee suicide. The cops are also looking into other angles in the mysterious death.  These two deaths with a short span of time in one location has put the Odisha police on tizzy.  

As the tourist season is going on in India, four people from Russia had come to Rayagada, of which one person (Vladimir Bidenov) died due to heart related problem, as per the preliminary investigation, said Odisha SGP Sunil Bansal. “Till now, we have not found any foul play in the case,” he said.  

After two days of the death of the person, his friend (Antov) was died suspected to be suicidal death case, Mr.Bansal said.   

“We have registered unnatural death cases and are conducting investigations. Post-mortem was done. The Russian authority in Kolkata is in touch with us. We are extending all support they want in this case,” the DGP informed.

Meanwhile, Pandit Rajesh Uttamrao, DIG (south western range), Koraput along with Rayagada SP Vivekanand Sharma visited the spot in the hotel and investigated.   

“Our scientific investigation is going on. We have taken photographs and videography. We are waiting for the post-mortem. As per doctors’ opinion in the report, we will conduct further investigation,” said Mr.Pandit.      

As per reports, the four Russian citizens along with their guide Jitendra Singh had first travelled to Daringbadi and other parts in Kandhamal district. Later, they travelled to Rayagada and stayed at Sai International Hotel in the town.

Hotel owner Koushik Thakur said the four Russian nationals have checked-in in his hotel on December 21. Two of them have died here while the Russian couple checked out on Tuesday (December 27). Mr.Antov was upset following this incident, he said.

Notably, Mr.Pavel and Mr.Antov, belonged to the ruling party of Russian President Valdimir Putin and a millionaire, had recently sent out a message criticising Russian attacks on Ukraine, but had later retracted the statement, according to several media reports.