Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Jul 5:
More than 40 days after she went missing, Sujata Pradhan, a promising Rugby player of Odisha, was finally traced and ‘rescued’ by the Commissionerate Police from Nayagarh district late on Saturday night, commissionerate police said here today.
Prabhat Pradhan, a mason by profession, was arrested by the police in connection with the case.
The case, however, has taken a curious turn with both Sujata and Prabhat insisting that they were in love and had married in a temple.
After she was ‘rescued’, Sujata said today that she had gone with Prabhat of her own volition and emphatically denied the suggestion that she had been kidnapped.
“I love him. I was not kidnapped. I had gone with him on my own. We married in a Shiva temple,” a veiled Sujata told reporters at the Capital Hospital here where she was taken for a medical test by the police.
Prabhat reiterated what Sujata said.
Talking to OST, Twin city Commissioner of Police (CP) Dr RP Sharma said after tracing the SIM card used by Sujata, a police team comprising staff from the Nandankanan police station and the special squad were able to trace and rescue her from Budijari village under Khandapada block in Nayagarh district.
“As Sujata is 17 years old and thus a minor, we have booked the accused Prabhat by registering a kidnapping case against him,” Sharma said.
Elaborating on the case, the Commissioner said Sujata and Prabhat had built up a love relationship while he was working as a mason in her house. More than a month ago, Sujata had eloped with the boy and went to Delanga in Puri district where they stayed together for sometime. When they felt insecure in Delanga, Prabhat took Sujata to his uncle’s house in Budijari village in Nayagarh district where they were finally traced by the police yesterday.
With the help of local police, the investigating team of the commissionerate police arrested the accused and rescued Sujata from his clutches late on Saturday night, he added.
Sujata will be produced before the Magistrate in a local court here later in the day and record her statement under section 164 of CrPC, Dr Sharma said.
Sujata’s father Kailash Pradhan, however, still insists that his daughter had been kidnapped. “We never knew about their love affair. We wanted her to bring laurels for the state and the country as a player. We had no idea such a thing would happen. Prabhat trapped her,” he said today.
Sujata, who belongs to Padasahi village under Nandankanan police station, went missing on May 18. The incident came to fore after her father Kailash Pradhan lodged a complaint at the local police station on June 23.
A Plus Two final year student of Kunja Bihari College at Barang, Sujata had won a gold medal in the National Women’s Rugby Championship held in Kerala earlier this year. Besides, she had also won a gold and silver medal in the under-19 competition at the 60th National School Rugby Championship in 2014-15.