Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bolangir, Jun 10:
Artatrana Singhdeo, one of the three living convicts in the sensational Parsuram Satpathy murder case in Odisha’s Bolangir town way back in 1974, surrendered in a local court this morning.
Singhdeo arrived at the District and Sessions Judge court at about 10.30 AM and surrendered.
Earlier, 69-year old Dhobei Podha had been arrested by the police while former Kantabanji MLA Prasanna Pal is still at large. Six others who, along with these three, had been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment have died.
“With Singhdeo having surrendered now, efforts are on to trace former Kantabanji MLA Prasanna Pal”, Bolangir SP Deepak Kumar said.
Parsuram Satpathy, a young journalist and upcoming politician, was crushed him under a jeep near Kalamandap field in Bolangir in what is believed to be the first political murder in this western Odisha town. The jeep dashed Satpathy, who was riding a bicycle, and crushed him under the wheels on November 29, 1974.
On May 21 this year, the Supreme Court had asked Pal and Singhdeo to surrender in the lower court within four weeks. The Apex Court ruled that the non-bailable warrant issued against the two convicts by a Bolangir court would remain in force till they surrender.
A case was filed and sessions judge, Balangir-Kalahandi, acquitted all nine persons accused in the murder case on June 30, 1980.
Not satisfied with the verdict, Parsuram’s brother Hareram Satpathy moved the Odisha High Court for permission to appeal against the trial court’s acquittal order. However, the application was dismissed at the stage of admission on January 12, 1982.
On December 2, 1983, the Supreme Court took up Hareram’s petition and directed Odisha High Court to hear the appeal on merit and dispose of it in accordance with law.
Subsequently, the High Court had registered Hareram’s appeal in 1984.
As six of the accused persons had died by then, the criminal appeal had survived only in respect of the rest three persons.