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Govt orders probe into Titilagarh murder

Bhubaneswar/Balangir, Dec. 16: The state government today ordered a crime branch probe into the murder of Biju Yuva Janata Dal general secretary Abhimanyu Sahu, 44, in Titilagarh on Sunday.

His family members, however, are seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), stating that an inquiry by an impartial agency would only reveal the truth about the conspiracy to get the leader murdered.

Sahu, a rising ruling party leader of the region, was an aspirant for the Titilagarh Assembly seat and had been playing a dominant role in the BJD activities in west Odisha. The town today observed a complete shutdown, demanding immediate action against the culprits.

Sahu’s body, with its throat slit, was found yesterday by morning walkers in the town. Local people suspect that Sahu had been done away with for political reasons.

Announcing the decision that the crime branch of the state police would investigate the case, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said: “Stringent action will be taken against the culprits.”

Additional director-general of crime branch B.K. Sharma said: “A special investigation team has been constituted for the purpose and the team has already left for Titilagarh. The officials will take help from local police.”

Sahu’s father said: “We have lost everything. We will only be satisfied when the murderers are arrested. Only a CBI inquiry can bring out the truth.”

Local police are believed to have secured some video footages of a few people following Sahu in a car. The police suspected that the leader was murdered in the car, and later, his body was thrown on the roadside.

“It appears that professional killers were hired for the job,” said Balangir superintendent of police R. Prakash.

Senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra said: “Sahu fell victim to the rivalry within the BJD.”

Demanding the chief minister’s resignation, BJP state unit president K.V. Singhdeo said: “The chief minister cannot protect his own party men. How can one expect him to protect others?”