Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Dec 19 :
After a 100 day long man hunt, the Commissionerate Police on Thursday finally nabbed Prashant Kumar Sahoo alias Bapi, who had had forced his wife Sandhyarani Samantaray (22) to join a flesh trade racket in which senior police and Crime Branch officials, mine owners and a few influential persons were allegedly involved.
Incidentally, his wife Sandhyarani who was the prime witness in the case died under mysterious circumstances on November 22.
The accused Prasant hails from Hatta Chhaka of Pipili in Puri district. He had married Sandhyarani in a temple in Puri in 2007.
Prashant who was absconding all this while was nabbed on the basis of a complaint lodged by his deceased wife Sandhyarani with Mahila Police Station here on September 13 stating that her husband along with some women had forced her into prostitution.
Eight days after her complaint, the Mahila police on September 21 arrested the kingpin of the sex racket Rina Behera (40) of Nayapalli Brit Colony and mounted a manhunt to nab Prashant along with other persons named in the FIR.
On the same day, Police had also detained 40 persons in connection with the case for interrogation.
The case took a dramatic turn when Prashant’s wife Sandhyarani, the victim of a flesh trade racket in the city and a key witness for the Commissionerate Police, died on November 22 under suspicious circumstances.
Sandhayrani’s family members had sought media intervention on November 25 stating that Sandhyarani had been killed due to poisoning. They had also urged the concerned authorities to inquire into the matter and identify the persons involved in the crime.
Failing to get justice from the concerned authorities, later parents of Sandhyarani approached to the State Commission for Women (SCW) and Orissa Human Rights Commission (OHRC), staged demonstration in front of the Assembly on November 30 seeking justice for their ‘murdered’ daughter.
On December 17, the deceased parents staged demonstration in front of the State Commission for Women (SCW) here seeking its intervention to ensure justice to their daughter. On the same day the Commission asked the SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack, the DGP and the Mahila police to submit a report in the matter within five days.
With pressures mounting from all sides, police today arrested Prashant from the city.
He was earlier booked in a case of murder in Cuttack but had managed to get bail in the case.