Cuttack, Dec 28:
The state Crime Branch (CB) has arrested four persons in connection with the murder of young BJD leader Abhimanyu Sahu on December 15 at Titlagarh, Additional DG Crime Branch BK Sharma said today.
They have been identified as Alok Das, Jagadish Bag, Santosh Rana and Naresh Singh alias Pental, all of them from Balangir.
Addressing a press conference here this afternoon, Sharma said local business rivalry – between Alok Das, a local businessman and contractor and Abhimanyu Sahu – appears to be the reason for the murder. He, however, did not rule out the possibility of political rivalry being a factor as well.
“We have not paid much attention to that (political) angle as yet. But we will continue to probe further,” he said.
Elaborating the modus operandi of the accused, Sharma said the four had planned to kill Sahu after tracking his movement for nearly a week in October, but could not succeed as Sahu used to move in a group during his morning walk.
After failing in their attempts, they purchased an Ambassador car for Rs 25,000 on October 27 provided by Alok to Santosh. Besides the car, they also used a bike and followed Sahu several times.
The killers finally got the opportunity on December 15 after finding Sahu alone on his morning walk.
While Jagdish followed him in his bike, the other three accused followed him in the car.
At a secluded place, the car hit Sahu from behind. As he was thrown to a distance along the road side, the accused got down of the car and hit his head with sharp weapons and later slit open his throat.
“The accused had earlier planned to kill Sahu by crushing him under the car. But finding him alive, they killed him with sharp weapons”, Sharma said.
After committing the crime, the accused moved away towards Titlagarh from where they dispersed to various places.
While Alok went to Patnagarh and took shelter at his father-in-law’s house, Jagdish went to Bissamkatak under Muniguda block of Rayagada. From there, he went to Bhubaneswar, Puri and later Cuttack.
During his stay at Puri, Jagdish tonsured his head to change his appearance as he was aware of the CCTV footage that had caught his movement on the day of the crime. After staying in Cuttack for a couple of days, he came back to Titlagarh.
The third accused Santosh, who had hit Sahu with the car which he was driving, went to Redhakhol with the car where he stayed in the house of a kin. The fourth accused, Naresh went to Titlagarh and remained underground for some days.
“We had been tracking the movement of these four accused after we found their involvement in the course of investigation. The interrogation of these four accused is underway and they would be forwarded to the court on Sunday”, Sharma informed.