Gangster Raja Acharya gets bail from apex court; Leslie & Gita fear threat to life


Bhubaneswar: A day after gangster Raja Acharya, convicted in the sensational case of murder of judo coach Biranchi Das, was granted bail by the Supreme Court on Friday, Das’ wife Gitanjali Panda and Leslie Tripathy with whom Raja had allegedly a one-sided love affair has sought protection apprehending threats to their lives on Saturday.

Gitanjali, who herself is a judo coach also demanded protection for five other witnesses in the murder case from the Commissionerate police. She also wanted that the police appoint a special Public Prosecutor (PP) to conduct the case pending against Acharya in the lower court.

Besides, Leslie has also said there is now threat to her life and the lives of her family members.

However, Commissioner of Police YB Khurania has confirmed that police protection would be provided to the concerned persons if written pleas are made in this regard. Besides, the question of engagement of Personal Security Officer (PSO) would also be examined.

Raja Acharya, who is lodged in the Jharpada Special Jail here for nine years since May 28, 2008 after being accused of the judo coach’s murder, is expected to come out of the prison within a week following the bail granted to him by the apex court.

Earlier, Biranchi Das was murdered on April 13, 2008 by Raja Acharya over his allegedly one sided love affair with Leslie and police had arrested him from Goa. Later, in 2011, Bhubaneswar District and Sessions Court convicted Raja in the case and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

However, Acharya had petitioned the High Court challenging the lower court’s verdict. Since the matter did not come up for hearing in the High Court in the last eight long years, Acharya had made an appeal in the Supreme Court, which granted him bail.

It may be noted here that  Acharya had allegedly murdered Biranchi Das over his one-sided love affair with Leslie Tripathy. The killing with close-range firing had sent shock waves across the State.

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