Odisha Crime Branch to probe Cameraman Manas Swain’s murder case

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Crime Branch will now investigate the sensational murder case of cameraman Manas Swain. The decision has been taken after it was confirmed that Swain was kidnapped in the prime accused Sarmistha Rout’s car.

One among the accused youths, Bhagyadhar Nayak, who was arrested earlier informed regarding Manas Swain’s kidnapping in Rout’s car. It has been learnt that Sarmishtha is in hiding probably outside the State.

Two teams have been formed under the leadership of a DSP for the investigation. One team to probe all the related events inside state, another team to look into links outside state, informed Crime Branch ADG Sanjeeb Panda.

The police team, who traced Rout’s vehicle broke the window glass of the vehicle and seized several documents from inside.

Earlier this morning, the vehicle has been found parked in the garage of Sky Tower apartment near Airfield Police Station in Bhubaneswar.

Meanwhile, the security guard of the apartment stated that the accused Retd OIS officer Niranjan Sethi used to visit web channel owner Sarmistha’s house at her SKY Tower apartment frequently, almost thrice a week. He also added that Sarmistha had introduced Niranjan as chairman of her organization.

The Orissa High Court rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Sarmistha Rout and directed her to appear in a lower court within four weeks on Tuesday. Later in the evening, her brother, Parmeswar Rout was arrested from Vijayawada of Andhra Pradesh.

Notably, Manas Swain was working as the cameraman of the web-channel owned by Sarmistha. His family members filed a missing report with Chandbali police on February 14 following which the cops registered a case under sections 373 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Prior to that on February 6, Swain travelled to Palaspur village of Bhadrak for video-recording of a marriage function and was enroute to Bhubaneswar the next morning when three people abducted him, said police. The deceased was in possession of some controversial videos and photos in a chip that Sarmishtha wanted him to hand over to her.

Sources further added that he was taken to an Ashram on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, owned by Sarmistha, and killed. The missing case turned into a murder case on March 12 after Manas Swain’s body was unearthed from a paddy field in Nayagarh district with the help of Bhagyadhar Nayak, Bebek Nayak, and Krushna Chandra Nayak.

Sarmistha and her associate Jhuna Bhoi, who is also allegedly involved in the case, are on the run. Police have formed four teams to trace and arrest them.

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