Baripada,01/08/19:A fake IAS officer arrested last year on charges of duping several job aspirants in the State was sentenced to six years rigorous imprisonment by the Court of Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) in Baripada today. This apart, the court has reportedly directed the convict Rajat Panda to pay a fine of Rs 10,000.
“According to the reports of the Investigating Officer, there were several allegations against Rajat Panda as he used to dupe the job seekers. As many as nine witnesses kept their sides in the court today based on which the court pronounced the verdict,” informed government lawyer Brundaban Nayak.
Reportedly, Rajat used to develop friendship with youths on social networking sites posing as an IAS officer. After winning their trust, he used to demand money from them assuring to help them in getting a job. However, after complaints were filed against Panda in Baripada, Jharpokharia, Malkangiri and Dhauli police stations alleging him of duping job aspirants, he was finally arrested last year.
Bhubaneswar,26/07/19:Self-styled godman Sarathi Baba, who had a huge following in coastal Odisha before being arrested on a battery of charges including sexual exploitation of women and misuse of religious institutions in 2015, was granted bail by Odisha High Court on Monday.
After Baba has been granted bail in the last of the three criminal cases, he is set to be released from Central Jail at Chowdwar on Thursday, said his counsel Manas Chand. Baba, whose real name is Santosh Raul, was lodged in the Central Jail for the last four years.
A Bench headed by Justice Sangram Kumar Sahoo of the High Court granted bail to the self-styled godman on conditions that he would not engage in any activity that would amount to influencing the witnesses in the cases against him. The Bench also restrained Baba from visiting his palatial ashram at Barimul in Kendrapara district.
The Lower Court in Kendrapara, where the trial in the three cases against Baba are on trial, can also impose any other condition to the bail if it felt necessary, the court ruled.
“Bail was granted in the Crime Branch police case number 20/2015 against a bail bond of Rs 2 lakh and the surety of two local bailers. Baba was lodged in jail since October 16, 2015 in connection with this case which pertains to a string of allegations levelled against him by a woman,” said Chand.
Claiming that she had worked for him for nearly 10 years and that Baba had taken some gold and cash from her with the promise to marry her, the woman had accused him of attempting to rape her, added the counsel.
A college dropout, Baba took to spiritual preaching in the mid-1990s and drew thousands of followers at his ashram at Barimul since 2010. Constant airing of his spiritual talks, often interspersed with his singing, on local television channels by way of advertisement helped swell his following.
Baba was arrested by Crime Branch on August 8, 2015 on the basis of complaints against him following media reports that he had spent time in the company of a young woman at a posh hotel in Hyderabad the previous month. Investigators had later found evidence that Baba had engaged in a string of immoral acts with his women followers and also accumulated huge wealth through illegal means.
Projecting himself as a modern incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Baba had allegedly indulged in sexual acts with his women devotees at his Barimul Ashram as part of a ritual he had formulated, which was called ‘supt seva’ or ‘secret service’. He allegedly engaged in these acts on a luxuriously built cot fitted with a wooden seven-hood snake and decorated with gold and silver ornaments.
The young woman who had spent a few days in the company of Baba in the Hyderabad hotel had also lodged an FIR later alleging that the self-styled godman and two women had threatened her with dire consequences if she disclosed to anyone her relations with him. This unmarried woman was then a final-year student of MBBS at a medical college in Odisha.
Rourkela,24/07/19:Dreaded criminal Sunil Majhi was injured in a police encounter near Siudi under Lathikata police limits here in Odisha late last night.
The criminal, who sustained bullet injury in his right leg, was initially rushed to the Rourkela Government Hospital here and later shifted to Burla based Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR) for treatment.
Based on a tip-off about Sunil’s presence in Siudi area in the city, a combined team of Rourkela police swung into action and asked the criminal to surrender before them.
However, Sumil and his accomplices opened fire at them in a bid to escape. In retaliation, the police too fired and Sunil was hit in his leg. His accomplices, however, fled away from the scene.Sunil was on the run for last seven years, police said.
Several criminal cases, including murder, extortion, robbery etc. have been registered against Sunil at different police stations in the state, police added.
Berhampur,24/07/19: Vigilance sleuths on Friday conducted raids at the residence and other places belonging to Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Ashsis Kumar Behera on charges of amassing disproportionate assets.
Official sources said, the raids were conducted by the Vigilance Cell, Cuttack following an order issued by the Special Judge Vigilance in Bhubaneswar.
Vigilance officials conducted simultaneous searches at nine different places including Berhampur, Bhubaneswar and Bhanjanagar.
The anti-corruption officials raided his office chamber and official residence here; his ancestral house at Bhanjanagar; his in-laws’ houses at Ambapua here, his residential flat at Mani Trivuban Apartment in Bhubaneswar.
Besides, raids were also conducted at the office and residences of Digapahandi Range Officer as well as Kholilote Range Officer in this connection.
Sources said verification of his bank accounts, several official documents and papers was carried out during the raids.
Hinjili (Ganjam),22/07/19:Hinjili Police have seized 46 kg of contraband Ganja and a Chevrolet Car on Sunday.In connection detained two persons named as Asish Kumar Nanhak and Himanshu @ Suraj Mandal. The duo identified belongs to out of state according to source.
The Inspector in Charge of Hinjili Police station Mr Abhimanyu Dash told to scribe that, "We got a tip off about the consignment of ganja headed to our of Odisha.
In this context, while our Police team discharging their patrolling at Khandra Chowk they detained a Chevrolet Car with the other state registration (?).
Most shockingly during the search of the Car we found two bags of Ganja 46 Kg in two packet with the label of Bharat Spices,Bhadrak (!).
Mr Dash said from the preliminary investigation revealed that the contraband was being procured illegally from Phulbani (Kandhamal) district.
The occupant of the pertaining to the ownership right we have requested to the RTO admn regarding the verification of the genuinely.
The duo was arrested under the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act.
Berhampur,21/07/19:Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) has been arrested by the Vigilance department on charges of amassing assets disproportionate to known sources of income.
The accused, identified as Ashis Kumar Behera,
During the two-day search conducted at nine places including his Berhampur office, official residence and parental house, movable and immovable assets to the tune of over Rs 2.19 crore was seized, Vigilance officials informed.
Kalahandi,21/07/19:The Bolangir Child Welfare Committee (CWC) on Sunday confirmed truth behind the allegations that Saroj Das, the head of Vision, an organization which manages ‘Prayas’ shelter home in Bhawanipatna, sexually abused a minor inmate of the shelter home meant for HIV kids.
Bolangir CWC chairperson, Jageswar Mohanty informed that his team has received vital leads in connection with the allegations against Das.
The district Sub-Collector along with the members of District Child Protection Unit also conducted a raid in the shelter home last night. Apart from verifying documents, they questioned some inmates of the shelter home over the matter.
“We have got some proof that Saroj Das has sexually abused the minor girl. Apart from the survivor’s mother, the girl also agreed that she was assaulted by Saroj. A case will be registered under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 and Section 376 of the IPC against the accused at Bhawanipatna Police station,” CWC chairperson Jageswar Mohanty informed.
Meanwhile, following the complaints, the district police reportedly detained Das for interrogation. The cops also questioned the survivor and her mother to ascertain truth behind the matter.
However, the CWC chairperson has flagged concerns over police interrogation of the complainant and the survivor in the absence CWC officials. Terming the action by the police as illegal, the CWC chairperson has said that it will move the Collector and SP if required.
It may be noted, that in her complaint, the girl’s mother from Bolangir district had alleged that Saroj sexually assaulted several inmates including her daughter with the support of the senior lady employee of the shelter home. Besides, she also demanded strict punishment for the accused.
On the other hand, terming the allegation as a conspiracy against him, Saroj pleaded innocence. “The student should have ideally informed the matter to the District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) or Child Welfare Committee (CWC) or the nearest police station immediately after the incident. I don’t know under what circumstances she is now levelling such allegations, four months after leaving the hostel,” Das said in his reaction.
Paralakhemundi,21/07/19:Three persons including two teachers were arrested by police on charges of threatening a journalist in Paralakhemundi of Gajapati district today.
According to reports, on July 18, the accused allegedly issued threats to journalist Rashmiranjan Mishra through phone after he reported a story on rice filled sacks lying abandoned on verandah of a girls’ hostel of Siali School under Kashinagar block of the district.
Following the incident, Mishra lodged a complaint at Paralakhemundi police station. In the FIR, he also mentioned the names of the accused trio that he had managed to ascertain through Truecaller.
After examining the call records, police nabbed the three accused including husband of the headmistress of Siali School.
Bibekananda Swain,Inspector in Charge Pralahemundi Model police station said, “ We have arrested P. Srinivas, K. Sudarsan and K. Kiran and forwarded them to court.