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Judge, son held in Jobra woman case

Cuttack, May 9: The Cuttack-Bhubaneswar police today arrested four persons, including a former judge, for allegedly conspiring to kill a woman who was yesterday rescued from the Jobra barrage.

The police said contract killers had been hired to kill Meena alias Mini Pradhan, 23, who was since 2007 working as a maid in the home of former additional district judge Samir Ray at Lumbini Vihar.

Samir Ray, wife Geetika, son Satyabrata and Prashant Das, who works as an electrician at Chandrasekharpur, have been arrested under section 307/34 of the Indian Penal Code.

Addressing a news conference here this evening, deputy commissioner of police S. Praveen Kumar said Samir’s son Satyabarata had developed physical relations with Meena.

“Contract killers were paid Rs 3.5 lakh to eliminate the woman who was thrown off Jobra barrage yesterday. She is now undergoing treatment at SCB Medical College and Hospital,” said Kumar.

Kumar said Meena was allegedly tortured after Satyabrata’s marriage was fixed with another girl last month. Though Meena claimed to have married Satyabrata in a temple, this was yet to be confirmed.

A police source said that on May 7, four or five goons picked up Meena from Samir’s residence. However, no formal police complaint was registered in connection with the incident though all the family members were present in the house.

Meena was later rescued from Jobra barrage after unidentified persons threw her off the bridge yesterday. She was rescued by local residents and fire services personnel.

Meena, who has sustained severe injuries to the chest, waist and legs, is undergoing treatment at the central intensive care unit of the hospital. Doctors stated her condition to be critical.

Meena’s family members have demanded stern action against those involved in attempting to kill her.

“For the past six years, Meena has been working in Samir Ray’s home. The family had promised us they would marry her off to their son Satyabrata. Their wedding was solemnised without our information,” said Meena’s aunt Bishnupriya Nayak.

Nayak said Meena had aborted twice in the past was being forced by her in-laws to abort for the third time. For this, they had even taken her to a private clinic.

Her family members said Meena had lost her mother when she was 15. Later, Meena started to work as a maid at Samir’s home and had been staying there ever since.

The medical tests have been conducted on Satyabrata at the forensic medicine and toxicology department of SCB.

All the four accused were produced before the court today.

Earlier, chairperson of the State Commission for Women Jyoti Panigrahi met the victim at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack and promised that all possible measures would be taken to ensure that justice was delivered to her.