Bhubaneswar: In an interesting revelation in the Patnagarh wedding gift blast incident, Odisha DGP RP Sharma today said that accused Punjilal Meher had planned and executed the crime single-handedly.
“Punjilal Meher, who has been arrested in the case, masterminded, planned and executed the crime single-handedly. He operated very meticulously without leaving any clues behind. He made the bomb himself, carried it in the shape of a parcel and booked it at a courier company near Raipur railway station,” the top cop said in a press meet at the State Police Headquarters in Cuttack.
Later in the day, Crime Branch IG Arun Bothra at a press conference in Balangir said that Punjilal had gathered gunpowder during last year’s Diwali and prepared a crude bomb using it. For executing his plans, he went to Raipur by a train with the bomb wrapping it as a gift and couriered it, said Bothra.
Moreover, he didn’t purchase a ticket for his journey in a bid to eliminate the chance of getting caught on CCTV camera while buying ticket from counter, the police official said.
Revealing about the detection of the crime, Bothra said Punjilal had posted a letter to the Balangir SP as an anonymous sender with an intention of misleading the investigators in the investigation process. In the letter, Punjilal had mentioned that the bomb blast was a fallout of love affair.
During probe, the cops detected a deleted file from Punjilal’s pen drive. It came to fore that the file was that of the letter which Punjilal had typed in his laptop and later sent it to the SP after taking out a printout of the same from a nearby shop.
According to police sources, a dispute was prevailing between Punjilal, English lecturer of Jyoti Vikash Junior College at Bhainsa in Balangir district, and deceased Soumya Sekhar’s mother Sanjukta, principal of the college, over the post. Punjilal served as the principal of the college before being replaced by Sanjukta and was reluctant to hand over the charge to her.
In order to seek a “revenge” in this connection, Punjilal planned the whole episode, the police official said.
The investigators had seized a cache of crude explosives from the ancestral house of Punjilal at Rampur under Patnagarh NAC. Several employees of the college were also interrogated in connection with the incident.
Meanwhile, Patnagarh Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) Court has allowed Crime Branch to take Punjilal on a six-day remand for further interrogation. The Crime Branch had sought to take Punjilal on a 14-day remand.
Notably, Reema Rani’s husband Soumya Sekhar and his grandmother Jemamani were killed when a bomb wrapped as a wedding gift blasted while unwrapping the same on February 23, four days after the couple’s marriage.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had ordered for a Crime Branch probe into the sensational incident. A special investigation team (SIT) of the Crime Branch was investigating into the matter.