Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Brahmapur, June 8:
Even as two of the four absconding accused were arrested today, twelve days after a young Odisha journalist Tarun Kumar Acharya was brutally killed in Khallikote, there are disturbing reports that he paid with his life for daring to expose a case of exploitation of child labour in a cashew processing unit in the area.
Chhatrapur SDP AC Padhi said “We came across some clues during investigations and arrested the duo”.
Reports said Shyamsundar Prusty had a tiff with Acharya, a few days before his murder, over the airing of a news report filed by him on how child labourers were engaged in the former’s cashew processing unit. After this Prusty had allegedly decided to teach the journo a lesson with the help of contract killers to commit the crime, police said. An informed source said, the idea was reportedly not to kill Acharya but to cause injury to his limbs. However, the supari killers did what they know best.
The two arrested persons have been identified as P Shyam Sundar Prusty, proprietor of a cashew processing unit at Khallikote, and N Ramesh Reddy, owner of a light and sound unit at Brahmapur, Padhi said, adding, the search for the other two absconding accused is on.
The 34-year-old deceased journalist Tarun Acharya, who was working as a stringer for an Odia television news channel, was murdered at Bikrampur in Khallikote on May 27 night while he was returning home in Bikrampur, 15 kms away from Khallikote on his bike.
The police had initially suspected old enmity or family dispute to have been the cause behind the murder.
A squad has been formed to nab the other two accused who have already been identified and the team members have been sent to different places including some outside the state to nab them.
Journalist associations across the state had strongly condemned the incident and demanded immediate arrest of all culprits and payment of heavy compensation to Acharya’s family.