Keonjhar: Police have arrested five persons in connection with the hurling of bombs on the vehicle of senior BJP leader and Keonjhar MLA Mohan Majhi.
The five accused arrested by the Keonjhar Town police have been identified as Pratap Rout, Bidyadhar Parida alias Buta, Manmohan Das alias Muna, Sarat Chandra Jena alias Mitua and Sikhul Sheikh.
While Pratap Rout is the prime accused in the case, police have seized four mobile phones, two bikes and two live country-made bombs from their possession.
Police said that the attack on Majhi’s vehicle was the fallout of the MLA’s ongoing issues with Bidyadhar Parida and Manmohan Das over financial matters and other personal issues.
Addressing a presser Keonjhar SP Mitrabhanu Mahapatra said that Bidyadhar Parida had contacted Pratap Rout for help.
Mahapatra said that Rout masterminded a conspiracy to teach a lesson to Majhi so that he would provide financial benefit to them.
He stated that Das, Parida, Raghav Pandey and a few others whose identities are yet to be ascertained conspired with Rout to teach Majhi a lesson.
Das who was once a close associate of Majhi has of late developed bitter feelings towards him, he added.
The SP informed that Rout and Das procured five country-made bombs (sutuli bomb) from Jena of Harichandanpur at Rs 200 apiece. While the money for buying the country-made bombs was paid by Rout, those were kept at the house of one Khirod Patra of Keonjhar.
Mahapatra stated that on the day of the incident, Rout, Pandey and Das collected three of the bombs from Patra’s house.
After collecting the bombs, they used the bike of Das who had an idea about Majhi’s itinerary, he added.
“There is a strong suspicion that somebody associated with Majhi has informed Das of his visit plan as well as route. Rout conducted reconnaissance and informed the other two about the exact time to attack. Das and Pandey reached the crime spot and hurled two bombs and ran away towards the railway station route. The description is consistent with the CDR (Call Details Record) location of Rout,” the SP said.
He further informed that Das’s face was captured in one of the CCTV of Keonjhar city surveillance system and his photo has been identified by the bomb supplier Jena and his family members.
The SP stated that while Pandey is yet to be arrested, Rout Parida, Das, Jena and Sheikh (the person in whose house the bombs were prepared) have been arrested.
On the other hand, Majhi has rubbished the claims of the police and said that it was a story cooked up by the police to derail the investigation.
He refuted the allegation of him having any financial transactions with anyone. He felt that it was a threat to his life and demanded an inquiry by the CBI.
On October 10 when Majhi was returning after attending a programme country-made bombs were hurled at his vehicle near Mandua. However, Majhi, his driver and PSO had escaped unhurt.
The BJP MLA had lodged a complaint in this regard at the Keonjhar Town Police Station.
On the basis of Majhi’s complaint, a case was registered under sections 307/34 of IPC, 3 & 4 of E & S Act, 25 of Arms Act.
The BJP had staged a road blockade at Gandhi Chhak demanding immediate arrest of the culprits in the bomb attack on Majhi’s vehicle.