Bhubaneswar: A chance visit to Choudwar central jail by the twin city Police Commissioner Sudhanshu Sarangi led to the arrest of prime accused Bibekananda Biswal alias Biban in infamous Anjana Mishra gangrape case. The idea to reopen the 1999 gangrape case struck to Commissioner’s mind during a conversation with another accused Dhirendra Mohanty alias Tunia in the jail.
Speaking to media persons at Cuttack DCP office, Sarangi revealed that Biban’s absence was a mystery for the last 22 years. Many claimed Biban dead while some others suspected that he had left the country, he said.
“However, we opened the file once again three months back to find him from his hibernation. We named the top secret mission as ‘Operation Silent Viper’. We wanted to know where the viper (Biban) is lying silent. I was personally supervising the operation while only four officers including DCP Prateek Singh, Additional DCP Pramod Rath, Inspector Special Branch, Ajay Dash and IIC Barang police station were in the team which labored extremely hard and achieved what the CBI failed to do,” said the police commissioner.
The team examined the old files and came to know that Biban has been staying at Lonavala impersonating Jalandhar Swain with new Aadhaar card, voter ID card and bank account. Biban was working as a plumber at Aamby Valley in Pune. The team found the permanent address of Biban in the documents as Naranpur on Bhubaneswar outskirts.
He was also found to be in regular touch with his family members and was sending money to his sons. He was also visiting his village Naranpur on several occasions.
Later, Sarangi contacted his batch mate and friend Bipin Singh, the Commissioner of Navi Mumbai, seeking his help in arresting Biban. Subsequently, a CP team headed by the IIC of Badambadi, Rashmi Ranjan Mohapatra, left for Navi Mumbai February 18, 2021.
The Maharashtra police also created a team under DCP (CID) Praveen Kumar Patil that accompanied the CP team to Aambay Valley in Lonavala February 20. Both the teams with the help of SP (rural) Abhinav Desmukh and ASP Navneet Kanwal carried out a raid at Aambey Valley Staff accommodation and arrested Biban, who was trying to give police a slip.
Commissionerate police later informed the CBI officials about the arrest of Biban. The commissioner requested the CBI authorities to pay the monetary reward announced in this regard to the officers involved in ‘Operation Silent Viper’.