Court summons Odisha ex-Law Minister Pratap Jena on October 6 in murder case 

Crime Odisha Politics

Cuttack, September 27: The Salipur JMFC Court on Wednesday issued summons to former Law Minister and Mahanga MLA Pratap Jena to appear before it personally on October 6 in connection with the double murder case involving a 75-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader two and half years ago.

On Monday, the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) ordered to book the senior BJD MLA under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in the double murder case.

The JMFC Court ordered that a prima facie case under section 302, 506 and 120 B of the IPC is made against Jena after perusal of statements of the complainant, witnesses, and other available materials on record.

“On further perusal of the case record, it is found that Pratap Kumar Jena is MLA of Mahanga constituency. Hence, the case record be transferred to the court of the additional district & sessions judge-cum-special court, Bhubaneswar for disposal in accordance to law,” the court said.

On January 2, 2021, Kulamani Baral, 75, in-charge of Salipur Zone of the BJP and his associate Dibyasingh Baral, 80, were hacked to death near Jankoti village under Mahanga police station.

While Baral succumbed to his injuries on the spot, Dibyasingh died while undergoing treatment at the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack the next morning.

Though police had booked Jena, the then Law Minister and 12 others in the case following a FIR by Baral’s elder son Ramakant Baral, his name was subsequently dropped from the charge sheet by police.

Baral’s son then lodged a complaint against the Law Minister before the Court of JMFC, alleging that the investigation done was perfunctory as police completely overlooked the allegation against Jena and wrongly recorded the statement of witnesses to shield him.

Incidentally, the body of Prafulla Biswal, the prime accused in the case, was found on the NH near Tangi of Cuttack district more than a month later under mysterious circumstances.

Jena was dropped from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s Cabinet last year.

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