31 December 2019
Bhubaneswar: From murders, robberies, highway loots to crime against women, 2019 was riddled with violent incidents in Odisha. It was a year which saw a Stoneman going on a killing spree in Cuttack. There was also a series of suicides, some of which were attracted controversy while others puzzled psychologists.
Here is a look at some of the spine-chilling incidents which grabbed headlines during 2019:
Psycho Killer in Cuttack: The city was rocked by a series of three murders in two days in July this year. According to the police, all the victims were homeless and above 40 years of age. After sending the police into a tizzy for many days, the accused Narayan Sahoo was arrested. Police said that Narayan, a native of Nayagarh was mentally challenged. He was identified on the basis of CCTV footage and forensic reports.
Nurse Niharika's Brutal Murder: Niharika Patra, 23, of Bhingarapur village under Balipatana police station was allegedly killed by her boyfriend Kishor Anchal, alias Raja, of Hajipur village on September 8 evening in Cuttack. Police said both had a heated exchange of words on September 8 evening over the issue of their marriage in the rented house of the accused. After killing her, Raja packed Niharika in a gunny bag and disposed the body near Biluakhai river. He was arrested on September 22 and confessed to his crime.
Jajpur VLW Smitarani's death: The controversy over the death of Haridaspur village-level worker (VLW) and in-charge Panchayat Executive Officer Smitarani Biswal, hogged headlines for long. Smitarani, a resident of Bhubanpur, had gone to Haridaspur to disburse old age pension to beneficiaries. After disbursing pension in Bhadanga village, she went to a guesthouse in Baligari to have lunch. After a few minutes, she was allegedly found dead in the bedroom of the house on October 16.
Police arrested Haridaspur sarpanch Madhusmita Bhadra's husband Rupesh Bhadra in this case. The guest house belonged to Bhadra. Jajpur SP said that prima facie evidences revealed that Smitarani had an extramarital affair with Bhadra and was coercing him to leave his wife and stay with her.
The family of Smitarani alleged that she did not commit suicide and denied to buy the claims made by police. The death of Smitarani led to many protests by opposition parties which demanded a thorough inquiry into the case.
Puri Gang Rape Case: A young woman was allegedly gang raped by a dismissed police constable along with his accomplices at a Government quarter near Jhadeswari temple in Puri, Odisha on December 2. The incident took place when one of the accused, claiming to be a police officer, offered help to the girl. On the pretext of dropping her home, he took the girl to Puri district and gang raped her.
Police took prompt action in this case and arrested ex-constable Jitendra Sethi. Later his associates, including a couple were arrested. Total six persons have been arrested in this case so far.
Sambalpuri Album Actress Simran's Murder: Sambalpuri album actress, Simran was murdered and her body was found under Mahanadi River Bridge near Goira Matha in Sambalpur on January 4. Simran had featured in several Sambalpuri albums. She was in a relationship with a youth in Bolangir district and had married him in 2017.
Police had seized the last voice call record of Simran which went viral on social media. In her voice message, Simran claimed that she was mentally depressed and was going away from everyone. The case remained a mystery till Jharsuguda police arrested Simran's husband Ranju Suna in this connection.