Balangir: Dr.Deepak Kumar DIG Northern Range has said District Police has nabbed the prime accused Gobinda Sahu while a half-charred and mutilated body of a woman, suspected to be the mortal remains of the missing woman, was exhumed from 10 feet deep into the ground.
Kidnapping of a 24-year old lady teacher has intensified into a major political controversy after opposition Congress and BJP demanded a CBI probe into the incident and demanded immediate resignation of Minister of State for Home, Divya Shankar Mishra, who was allegedly patronizing the prime accused Gobinda Sahu, who escaped from the policy custody on Sunday night.
While Mr.Sahu was arrested from Budhipadar village under Bangomunda block of Bolangir district, the police have also exhumed a body from 10 feet deep into the playground of the Sunshine English Medium School at Mahaling.
“Prime accused in the Sindhikela Police Station case has been apprehended. He absconded from Police custody earlier,” Balangir Superintendent of Police, Kusalkar Nitin Dagdu said.
Earlier in the day, Balangir Police had announced Rs 1 lakh for providing information on Mr.Sahu, who escaped from Titlagarh police custody on Sunday night. The initial prize money was Rs 20,000 and it was later hiked to Rs 1 lakh.
Mr.Sahu is the President of the Managing Committee of Sunshine English Medium School at Mahaling in Kalahandi district, where the lady teacher was working. She went missing on 8 October and after 12 days of her disappearance, the police recovered a body.
While the police was yet to confirm identity of the body exhumed from the school playground, her family members claimed that it was her. “Her ornaments and bag was recovered from the pit from where the body was recovered. Looking at the size of the body, we claim it to be of the lady teacher,” the victim’s uncle Kaushik Meher said.
However, the police maintained that the identification of the body would be confirmed only after the DNA test.
A resident of Jharni village under Tureikela block of Balangir district, the 24-year-old also served as warden of the girls’ hostel of the school. She went missing on 8 October while her family lodged FIR at Sindhekela Police Station on 13 October.
“We had gone to lodge complaint to the police station on 9 October, but the police refused to accept it saying that the lady teacher should be somewhere,” the uncle claimed alleging that the prime accused Mr.Sahu was very close to Minister Mr.Mishra and often visits his school.
The family members suspected that Mr.Sahu had kidnapped the lady teacher and killed her. She was last seen with Mr.Sahu on 8 October.
Meanwhile, the opposition Congress and BJP demanded the resignation of the Minister after a video of him praising Mr.Sahu at a recent function held at Sunshine English Medium School went viral. It was alleged that Mr.Sahu managed to slip out of the police barrack due to his political influence and proximity to the MoS, Home.
While both Congress and BJP activists staged demonstrations both in Bhubaneswar and Bhawanipatna demanding Mr.Mishra’s resignation, a group of activists belonging to Student Congress hurled rotten eggs at the official residence of the Minister in Bhubaneswar.
Congress MLA from Kantabanji in Bolangir district Santosh Singh Saluja said the Minister must resign or the Chief Minister should dismiss him in order pave way for a neutral investigation into the case. He demanded a CBI probe into the incident and the minister should come under the purview of investigation.
BJP State President Samir Mohanty demanded that the Minister should step down on moral ground as the incident took place in his constituency and the prime accused was close to him for which he could manage to escape from the custody.
BJD Vice President Debi Prasad Mishra said: “We have told it earlier that law will take its own course. Whoever is guilty, should be punished as per the law of the land.”