The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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In jail for mistaken identity

Bhubaneswar, Sept. 7: A Balasore woman has been languishing behind bars for the past six months after she was “mistaken” for a wanted criminal — all because of a similar surname.

Binapani Mukhi, 38, wife of Gourisankar Mukhi, of Panchughanta in Jaleshwar NAC area, was arrested on March 8. The real culprit, Minati Mukhi, was arrested by for selling and possessing illegal country liquor on June 11, 1997. As Minati did not attend the court on May 19, 2001, it issued a warrant against an absconding Minati.

Six years after receiving the warrant, Jaleswar police arrested Binapani mistaking her as Minati. Binapani was served with two years of rigorous imprisonment with Rs 2,000 fine, with further imprisonment for six more months in case of payment failure.

Conceding the “lapse”, Jaleswar subdivisional officer Sudarsan Barik said that the error was not “intentional”.

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