Ex-lecturer’s murder cracked, 2 arrested

Baripada: Around 16 days after he went missing, police recovered the body of a retired lecturer from the Ambajoda forests under Betanoti police limits in Mayurbhanj district Thursday. The body was buried in the forest. The police arrested two suspects. Four others are absconding.

Police came to know that retired lecturer Dr Sudhir Kumar Mohanti, (65), was murdered as he was not willing to sell a plot in Baripada town through brokers.

Police arrested Sheikh Raju, (33), a garage owner of Takatur and his driver Ajay Patra of Baghada Road. Police also seized two autorickshaws and a car used for the crime. Four others – Dipun of Palabi, Raja of Rakhalgopa, Raju and Bigu of Parade Padia – involved in the crime are absconding. Raja is said to be a frontline leader of the BJD in the area while the others are engaged in automobile repairing.

The suspects robbed Rs 46,000 and spent it while Raja took the jewellery, said investigating officer Sushant Kumar Bahera. Raids are being conducted at various locations to nab the culprits.

Police said Sheikh Raju had a good rapport with lecturer Sudhir. Sudhir had 2.5 acres at Damodarpur. Raju knew that the lecturer wanted to sell his land. The suspects wanted to make money by brokering the deal. Raju had thought of buying the land from the lecturer and selling it later.

As per the plan Raju introduced his friend Dipun to the lecturer as a man from Delhi keen to buy his land. The lecturer agreed to sell. On September 2, they went along with Sudhir to the site.

Sudhir hiked the price, but Sheikh Raju wanted him to lower it. This led to arguments and they strangled Sudhir. At night they carried his body to Ambajoda forest and buried it there. Later, they came back to Sudhir’s house, robbed cash and the jewellery of his wife.        

The retired lecturer was staying alone as his wife Snehaprabha was a teacher at Karanjia. She used to visit every week. On September 26, when she came home she found the door open, the almirah broken and her husband missing. She filed a complaint with the police.  PNN

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