Khallikote Murder Case: SIT Begins Probe But Family Demands CBI Investigation

Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s Ganjam district, which has become the hub of pre-poll violence, the Khallikote murder case amid the elections has made the political atmosphere warmer. As 48 hours have passed, neither the police could apprehend the main accused in the murder of the BJP worker, nor did the bereaved family get justice. Although an SIT team has reached Khallikote and started digging into the incident, the family of the deceased is now demanding a CBI investigation doubting the transparency of the constituted SIT under the ruling party.

Late Wednesday night, the victim, Dillip Pahan along with other BJP workers, who recently joined the party after leaving the ruling BJD, was putting up election campaign posters at Srikrushnasaranapur village in the Khallikote area of Odisha’s Ganjam district. A fight broke out when some BJD workers allegedly objected to putting up the posters. Several persons, including Dillip, sustained serious injuries in the tussle. All of them were admitted to the hospital for treatment. However, Dillip succumbed to his injuries during treatment at MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur.

In response to the attack, villagers staged a blockade in front of the Khallikote police station, demanding swift action against the accused persons. The situation turned worse on Thursday as BJP workers protested, calling for the immediate arrest of the attackers and bringing the traffic to a halt between Khallikote and Bhubaneswar.

Expressing deep concern over the incident, Chief Electoral Officer Nikunja Bihari Dhal instructed the Ganjam Collector and SP to implement measures to curb the violence and restore peace. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, along with other officials, condemned the violent act. To prevent further unrest, the district administration imposed Section 144 CrPC around the police station.

The Ganjam district administration imposed the prohibitory orders after the locals pelted stones and bottles at the police while they were forwarding the accused persons involved in pre-poll violence to the court. Cops also resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the angry mob.

Taking serious note of the incident, the district police reportedly transferred as many as four police personnel on charges of dereliction of their duties.

Meanwhile, a large police contingent has been deployed in the village and at Khallikote police station to bring normalcy in the area.

The DGP has formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) which will investigate the Khallikote murder case. The SIT has been asked to collect proper evidence (scientific/ forensic/ digital), arrest the real accused and submit chargesheet within 30 days for early trial of the case.

The SIT will give status reports to the IG of Police, Southern Range from time to time. In view of the pre-poll violence in Khalikote, Radha Krishna Sharma, IPS, ADGP/ Hdqrs will camp at Chhatrapur to oversee law and order in Ganjam District during the poll. He will camp at Chhatrapur from 17 May to 21 May, said reports.

Dillip’s wife has demanded strict action against Khallikote MLA Suryamani Baidya’s husband, Daitari Behera, alleging that he masterminded the murder of her husband. The bereaved widow of Dillip even threatened to take the law into her own hands if she was denied justice.

It has been 48 hours since the murder of BJP worker Dillip and Khallikote police claimed to have arrested only 9 people. Meanwhile, the police have conducted a flag march in Srikrushnasharanpur village and the SIT has been constituted to probe the murder case thoroughly.

On the contrary, Dillip’s father has appealed to the Prime Minister that the investigation should be given to the CBI. The family and the BJP have alleged that Khallikote BJD MLA’s husband Daitari Behera and late queen Sugnana Kumari Deo’s nephew Saket Ramarao were behind the murder plot.

Because when Dillip was in BJD, he was opposing Suryamani Baidya. Even, he had gone to Naveen Niwas to protest against the party’s ticket to Baidya this time.

There are allegations that a conspiracy was hatched to attack Dillip and other BJP workers. So will SIT investigate all these aspects too? Can the SIT arrest the real accused shielded by the ruling party?, questioned the family of the deceased and the villagers.

However, the MLA’s husband and Saket Ramarao denied the allegations.

Polling is scheduled to be held in the Khallikote Assembly segment under the Aska parliamentary constituency on May 20.

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