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Khallikote: Five persons arrested in connection with the 2014 murder of television journalist Tarun Acharya were sentenced to life imprisonment by the ADJ Court here on Thursday. The judgement was scheduled to be pronounced on June 6 but had been deferred to June 27.
Additional District Judge Srinivas Pratihari convicted prime accused P Shyam Sundar Prusty and his four associates, Shivram Nayak, Santosh Kumar Maharana, Suresh Kumar Sahu and M Ramesh Reddy, based on the statements of 46 witnesses.
Tarun Acharya(29), a stringer of Odia TV channel Kanak TV, was murdered on May 27, 2014. Investigation revealed Prusty, owner of a cashew-nut processing factory, as mastermind behind the incident.
Prusty was in search of a chance to finish off Acharya after the latter published a news report about child labourers being employed at his factory. It was on the evening of May 27, when Acharya was on his way to his village Bikrampur, three of the accused killed him by slitting his throat.
Though police have been able to nab five persons involved in the murder, another accused Nrusingh Charan Panda alias Budu is still on the run.