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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhadrak, Oct 8:

A local court in Odisha’s Bhadrak district today summoned ruling Biju Janata Dal legislator Muktikanta Mandal to appear before it in connection with a murder case.

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The Bhadrak Additional District and Sessions and Judge Court summoned the Dhamnagar MLA Muktikanta Mandal and his aide Nepal Barik to appear before it on October 21. The court has asked the duo to put their sides in connection with Niranjan Jena murder case.

On September 27, the beleaguered legislator had moved High Court seeking anticipatory bail to evade possible arrest pertaining to a murder case in 2002. The anticipatory bail hearing is yet to come up in the court.

Notably, Jena was allegedly beaten to death by 20-25 men, including Muktikanta Mandal and Nepal Barik, on November 3, 2002.

The deceased said to be a close aide of Mandal was abducted from Antapur under Soro area in Balasore district. Mandal’s supporters took hm to Balinagar in Basudevpur where he was done to death.

Jena had named Mandal— the then block chairman of Basudevpur— and five others in his dying statement who succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment. However, the politician allegedly managed to hush up the matter. The Basudevpur police had named four persons in the charge sheet excluding Mandal and Barik.

During trial, the District and Sessions Judge Court examined mother and uncle of the deceased and the hospital authorities. Duhsashan Jena, uncle of Niranjan, moved the lower court to record statements of the two accused which was rejected by the court on July 23, 2007. He then moved the High Court challenging the lower court verdict.

On September 19, the High Court had directed the lower court to make Mandal a party in the case and complete the hearing in six months.