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CIMA Gallary

Cops hint at burglary, land row in murder

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 19: Police today hinted that burglary and land dispute could be the reasons behind the murder of a senior citizen whose semi-decomposed body with hands and legs tied was recovered last evening from his four-storey building at Kalinga Nagar near SUM Hospital on the city outskirts.

Family members of the deceased, 68-year-old Balaram Sahoo, who was a former assistant general manager of a nationalised bank in the city, said some jewellery was missing from the house.

Sahoo had also bought a piece of land in the same area but was unable to take possession of it. Khandagiri police today sent the body for post-mortem.

Sources said Sahoo had been staying in that house for the past eight years. However, for the past eight months he had been staying alone as his wife left him to stay with her daughters. Of Sahoo’s five daughters, three are engineers and two doctors. Three of his daughters are married and all are staying outside the state.

Police sources said Sahoo’s wife, Kanchan, who reached here this morning from Mumbai, left for her daughter’s place last year as she had refused to stay in that house in a lonely area off the city.

Sahoo’s body was found lying in his bedroom on the first floor and the police suspected that he might have been murdered on Saturday night.

One of his relatives, Sanjukta Prusti, had talked to him over phone on Saturday night around 9.30pm, but after that his phone remained switched off.

Inspector in charge of Khandagiri police station Sanjeev Satpathy said Kanchan had complained that gold worth around 200 grams, kept in a box, was missing.

“Besides, circumstantial evidences also points to burglary. So, we are probing that aspect too,” said Satpathy.

Moreover, the police are looking into the land dispute issue as another possible cause of murder. Sahoo had purchased a plot in the same locality from a Jagamara-based landowner.

Talking about an attack on Sahoo on January 22, the police said the former banker did not mention anyone as suspect in the assault. He had sustained injuries on his right hand in the attack.

In his complaint, Sahoo had mentioned that while entering his house on January 22 evening, someone hit him with an iron rod, but he could not see the accused.

“We suspect the role of burglars in that attack, too. But, we are yet to get any definite clue about the murder till now and are keeping all possible options open. We have collected all material evidences and sent those for forensic examination. Besides, the post-mortem report will make it clear how Sahoo was murdered,” said a police officer.

Late in the evening, Khandagiri police detained three land brokers on allegation of their involvement in the murder of Balaram Sahoo. The officials said that they were questioning these detainees about their involvement in the case.