Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 6:
Berhampur police special squad in collaboration with Commissionerate police today raided the Khandagiri based apartment of former Odisha Congress Sanakhemundi MLA Ramesh Jena in connection with a bombing case and have detained him along with two of his aides.
Three mobile phones and various types of weapons have been seized from them during the raid, according to a source.
All three of them were taken to Berhampur and have been detained for further questioning.
Ramesh Jena, however, pleaded innocence and said that he has no idea why he has been detained.
“The police came to my house and took me away in the middle of the night. I have no idea why they did so. I don’t know anything,” said Jena speaking to reporters while being taken away to an undisclosed location by the police.
“He had about 20 cases against him and is being questioned about his involvements with gutkha manufacturing among others,” said Police DG KB Singh without revealing much to the media given his political background.
The cops are also grilling him pertaining to his connection with the bombing too, as per a source.
Jena’s houses in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Berhampur are also being raided simultaneously today, as per a notification from police headquarters.
As per a source in the police, 2 guns, 5 rounds of live bullets and Rs 10 lakh were seized from his Berhampur house late in the evening during the raid.
Even though the cops are not revealing the exact location of Jena and his aides in Berhampur, some men gathered in front of Berhampur town police station this evening and attempted to break in demanding release of detained Corporator and close Jena aide R Murali Mohan. The cops resorted to mild lathi charge to disperse the crowd. The situation is under control now.
As per reports, Berhampur police had been on a manhunt to nab Prem Panda alias Bapi for hurling bombs at the residence of Berhampur Congress Corporator Ranjit Nayak on February 9 and 29. The cops raided Jena’s Bhubaneswar house after being tipped off about Bapi’s presence there.
Apart from the bomb explosion case, Jena also has many other cases against him pertaining to manufacturing of duplicate tobacco products, tender fixing etc.
Earlier, Bhubaneswar Police attempted to raid his Khandagiri house on February 1, 2011. Aides of Jena had opened fire at the police on that occasion. Even though Jena visited this house rarely after the incident, he had started visiting it frequently of late leading to suspicion.
The cops had been planning to raid the house since last night and had taken enough precautions to avoid an incident like the 2011 one.