Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 7:
Saheed Nagar police has transferred the unnatural death case of Pratap Mishra in 2003 to the Odisha Crime Branch.
Saheed Nagar police reopened the case of Pratap Mishra after his elder brother Pramod Mishra, an auto-rickshaw driver of Kandhamal district, lodged a fresh FIR on Wednesday alleging that his younger brother was murdered by Sura Baba alias Surendranath Mishra, head of Trahi Achyuta ashram and his sons.
The Crime Branch summoned Pramod Mishra to its headquarters at Cuttack and has recorded his statement on Sunday.
“The Crime Branch had summoned me today. I reached there at around noon. They interrogated me and took note of the addresses, phone numbers etc. of my brothers. They said they are inquiring into the matter. They asked me to report whenever summoned,” said Pramod Mishra, speaking to Kanak TV.
Pratap Mishra, a former inmate of Trahi Achyuta ashram, was found hanging from the ceiling fan of a computer institute run by Trilochan Mishra, elder son of Sura Baba.
He said his youngest brother Pratap had gone to the Trahi Achyuta ashram at Jhiinti in 1997 where he was appointed as a staff by Sura Baba. He was one of the most faithful staff of the ashram.
“After serving at the ashram for six years, my brother had come home in 2003 and told me that Trilochan Mishra, the eldest son of Sura Baba, had assured him to provide a job in the Institute of Design and Technology run by him at plot no-A/118 at Sahid Nagar in Bhubaneswar. He also told me that Trilochan had asked him to bring Rs 80,000. With much difficulty, my elder brother managed to arrange the money and gave it to him. He was very happy and left the house. The very next day, I received a call that my youngest brother had committed suicide. It was impossible for me and my three brothers to believe Pramod had committed suicide as he had shown no sign of any desperation and he was physically fit and sound,” Pramod Mishra had told Kanak TV on Tuesday.
Pramod had said when he reached A/118 in Saheed Nagar, he found the body of his younger brother hanging from a ceiling fan, but his feet touching the floor. “There was no way it could have been a case of suicide,” he said accusing the police of hushing up the case at the behest of Sura Baba. “The police behaved like the pet dog of Sura Baba,” he had said.
Pratap’s friend and confidante Pabitra Pradhan added a curious twist to the case saying the former had stayed with him for five days till the night before he was found dead.
“Five days before he was found dead, Pratap came to me with someone I knew and said he would stay with me for a few days before moving out since the ashram authorities had thrown him out. During these five days, he revealed that he had an affair with Sura Baba’s daughter and had been warned by him (Sura Baba) of dire consequences if he ever ventured anywhere close to the ashram again,” Pabitra had told Kanak TV.
He had said the night before Pratap was found dead under mysterious circumstances, four persons had come to his place and asked for him. “It was past midnight. Pratap came out and asked them what brought them there. They said they had come to take him to the ashram to thrash out the issue through discussion. Pratap went along with them. The next morning, I got a call around 5-5.30 am saying he was dead. I rushed to Rajmahal Square and found his body lying by the side of the road. A lone home guard kept watch on the body,” Pabitra had said.
Purna Chandra Jena, a former inmate of the ashram, had told Kanak TV on Tuesday last that he was an eyewitness to the murder of former Pratap Mishra in 2003.
“He was called to the ashram on the pretext of meeting his guruma(teacher-mother). Once he reached there, he was taken behind the ashram building and mercilessly beaten up by goons with wooden clubs on the orders of Sura Baba. He was beaten up for over half an hour. I saw him with severe wounds on his body after his beating,” Jena had told Kanak TV.
The eyewitness said he had heard that Pratap was packed off to Brahmapur after being beaten up. “The next thing I heard about him was he had committed suicide,” he had told Kanak TV.