Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bolangir, June 3:
As the layers of truth keep getting unraveled during the course of the police investigation, it appears that the case of Pratima Sahoo, the girl from Odisha’s Bolangir district who married her Pakistani boyfriend Mohammed Mansha recently, may not have been a simple one of girl falling in love with boy across international borders through social networking website Facebook.
Investigations into the case by Bolangir town police have brought to the centre stage the role of Brahmakumari Premalata, the head of the ashram at Gandhinagarpada here with whom Pratima used to reside here.
Sources in the police said Premalata, during her interrogation by the police on Sunday, was evasive to most of the questions, but she did reveal something that could have a crucial bearing in the case: that she too, like her ward, had obtained a tourist visa to land in Layyah, though only a 30-day one. Pratima, it may be noted, landed in Pakistan on a 90-day visa and married Mansha after converting to Islam and rechristening herself Mariam. Earlier, they had together obtained passports on September 17, 2013 under the Tatkal scheme, presumably to facilitate the visit to Pakistan.
It is not clear why Premalata backed out of the visit to Pakistan though, the sources said.
The interrogation of Premalata also introduced another important character into the picture, who may well have a role in facilitating the whole affair: Mohammed Yasin Thakkar of Cuttack. Premalata apparently told the police that Thakkar, who she had adopted as her foster brother, had left for Pakistan a few years ago and settled down in Lahore after taking citizenship of that country.
Premalata revealed that she had been in constant touch with Thakkar even after he settled down in Pakistan – not just through phone, but also in person. Thakkar apparently used to visit Cuttack frequently even after moving to Pakistan and meet a lawyer named Karunakar there. She also confessed that he had met Thakkar at the lawyer’s place in the Silver City and also that Pratima too was in frequent touch with Thakkar over phone.
Though Premalata refused to spill all the beans during her questioning citing illness, police now suspect that it may well have been Thakkar, rather than Facebook, which facilitated Pratima’s excape to Pakistan. The possibility of Premalata having met Thakkar in Mount Abu, besides the source of the money that flowed into the bank accounts of Premalata and Pratima, is also under investigation, sources in the investigating team revealed.
“There was no coherence in the statements of Premalata. We will grill her again to arrive at the truth,’ said Bolangir Town IIC Tariq Ahmad.
Bolangir SP R Prakash has said that the investigation in the case has been expedited.