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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Jan 9:

Lawyers across Odisha will resort to one-day cease work tomorrow to protest against the brutal murder of lawyer-cum-hotelier Chandan Behera yesterday.

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“We strongly condemn the brutal murder. As a mark of protest we will boycott courts tomorrow. We request the government to take immediate action and arrest the culprits,” said Kali Prasad Mishra Vice President, Orissa High Court Bar Association.

Demanding immediate arrest of the culprits and citing deterioration of law and order in the holy town Puri Bar Association also demanded transfer of Puri S P Sarthak Sarangi.

The Association has decided to resort to three-day cease work beginning tomorrow in support of their demands.

“We will resort to three-day cease work from tomorrow. We will boycott courts. We demand immediate arrest of the culprits involved in the brutal murder. We also demand the transfer the SP for his failure to maintain law and order,” informed Premananda Mohanty, president of Puri Bar Association.

Lawyers and intellectuals held a demonstration here in front of the Collector’s office and blocked roads by setting old automobile tyres on fire today to protest against the collapse of law and order situation in the town.

On the other hand, police have detained five persons in connection with Behera’s murder. Police have formed three teams to nab the culprits and are conducting raids at several places.

“After conducting spot verification and examination of the CCTV footage we have ascertained how many were involved in the murder and their identities. Now they are absconding and we are taking whatever precautions are required. They will be definitely arrested,” said Puri SP Sarthak Sarangi.

While police are suspecting previous enmity to be the reason behind Behera’s murder, his widow claimed that she had no knowledge of her deceased husband having enmity with anyone.

“He had never told me of having enmity with anyone. I was with him when we purchased the land and there was no problem in it. I have faith in the police. Let them investigate and punish the guilty,” said Nibedita Behera, widow of the deceased hotelier to reporters who questioned her if her husband had enmity with anyone.

It may be mentioned here that Behera was hacked to death by unknown assailants yesterday around 7.30 PM inside the compound of Sai Kutir Lodge owned by him. Behera was attacked with swords while he was returning to the lodge with one of his staff Krushna pillion riding with him on a scooter. Krushna also received minor injuries in the attack.