Bhubaneswar/ Kendrapara: A court in Cuttack district Saturday expressed displeasure over the slow pace of investigation into the Mahanga double murder case in which state Law Minister Pratap Jena’s name had figured in the FIR.
The Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC), Salepur, directed Mahanga Police to submit call detail records (CDRs) of three persons comprising the minister’s assistant Bapi Biswal, block chairman Sharat Naik and late Prafulla Biswal for the period between December 2020 and February 2021, the petitioner’s advocate Pravin Kanungo, told reporters.
Former Mahanga block chairman and BJP leader Kulamani Baral along with his associate Dibyasingha Baral were hacked to death at Nrutanga village January 2, 2021.
Ramakant Baral, the son of Kulamani Baral, had filed a petition in the court alleging that the charge-sheet was silent on the minister’s role in the double murder case.
After investigation, the police had filed a charge-sheet against 14 accused people but dropped the name of the minister.
In August, the court directed the Mahanga police to reinvestigate the case as the law minister’s name was not mentioned in the charge sheet though the petitioner had filed a case at the police station against 13 persons, including the minister, alleging their involvement in the murder.
The police were yet to submit the revised report.
Meanwhile, the opposition Congress and BJP activists Saturday waved black flags at the law minister when he was on his way to attend a function at a government high school in Kendrapara district.
Alleging his involvement in the Mahanga double murder case, the activists of the opposition parties raised slogans against Jena demanding his immediate resignation.
“He has no moral right to stay in public office even for a minute”, they said shouting slogans against Jena at Gulngar and Tinimuhani Chowk.
When contacted Rajiv Lochan Panda the Sub- Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) of Kendrapara said “a case has been registered in this connection at the police station. We have detained four Congress activists and five BJP supporters”.
Jena was unavailable for a comment.