Crime Branch probe ordered into death of Russian lawmaker Pavel Antov in Odisha

Nation Odisha

Bhubaneswar/Rayagada, December 27: Three days after the death of Russian lawmaker Pavel Antov under mysterious circumstances in Odisha’s Rayagada, Director General of Police (DGP) Sunil Kumar Bansal Tuesday ordered a Crime Branch probe into the matter.

“Since foreign nationals are involved in this incident, the Crime Branch has been directed to take over the inquiry into the two unnatural death cases,” said the DGP in Bhubaneswar.

Notably, 65-year-old Antov’s friend and fellow tourist Vladimir Bidenov died on December 22.

“Four Russian tourists came to Rayagada district, one of them died probably because of a heart issue. We initiated an enquiry and police case was registered. A post-mortem was conducted. After two days another person among them died in unnatural circumstances,” said DGP Bansal.

The inquiry, so far, into the death of the Russian Antov, a billionaire and lawmaker, has not suggested any foul play.

According to sources, police was initially unaware that Antov was a billionaire and a lawmaker. Only after his profile was revealed, senior police officers including DIG (south-western range) Rajesh Pandit and Rayagada SP Vivekananda Sharma visited the hotel on Tuesday and carried out investigation.

Antov along with his three friends – Vladimir Bidenov, Mikhil Turov, and Panasenko – had come to Odisha for holidaying on a tourist visa to celebrate his 66th birthday. They reached Rayagada on December 21 afternoon and checked into the Sai International Hotel in the town.

On December 22 at around 9 AM, Antov informed the hotel staff that Bidenov was lying unconscious in his room. The hotel staff and tour guide called the ambulance and the police and rushed him to the district headquarters hospital where doctors declared him dead.

“The initial post-mortem report stated heart attack to be the reason behind the death of Bidenov, though the detailed cause will be ascertained once the final report comes,” said the DGP.

On December 24 evening, Antov was found lying in a pool of blood on the roof of a single-storey building adjacent to the main hotel building. Though he was rushed to the district headquarters hospital, doctors declared him dead.

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