Orissa top cops shifted after charges of ties with gangster

April 18th, 2008 - 8:36 pm ICT by admin  


Bhubaneswar, April 18 (IANS) The Orissa government Friday transferred as many as eight Indian Police Service (IPS) officers over allegations of police-gangster nexus in the wake of the murder of Biranchi Das, former coach of marathon kid Budhia Singh. Those transferred include two senior officials of the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack police commissionerate. The government has also ordered the ombudsman to investigate the alleged nexus.

Biranchi Das was shot dead by two men here Sunday when he was celebrating Oriya New Year’s Day with his students and family at a judo centre.

The place of the crime comes under the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack police commissionerate and is located a few kilometres from the residence and office of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

While Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Amitav Thakur has been transferred and posted as Assistant Inspector General of police at Cuttack, DCP Soumendra Priyadarshi has been posted as Superintendent of Police at Keojnhar.

Himanshu Lal, Superintendent of Police in Bolangir district, is transferred as the DCP (police commissionerate) at Bhubaneswar. Lal is known for his crusade against criminals. The government has also posted Prabin Kumar, a young police officer, as DCP Cuttack.

Although home department officials described the transfers as routine, well informed sources said these are aimed at nabbing the criminals who have been roaming scot-free five days after the murder.

Das’s brother Susanta, who said he was present when Das was shot dead, alleged that hardcore criminal and gangster Sandip Acharya alias Raja was behind the crime.

However, the failure of the police to arrest Acharya, who faces over 30 cases of extortion, kidnapping and murder, is lending credence to the allegation that he has a good equation with some top police officials.

City Police Commissioner Binoy Behera Tuesday said such a possibility could not be ruled out.

Some local television channels Thursday showed footage of Acharya, who said that some top officials, including an Indian Administrative Service officer, have conspired against him even though he is innocent.

Das, a judo teacher, became famous after he adopted and trained Budhia.

He rescued the marathon kid from a man to whom Budhia’s impoverished mother Sukanti Singh had sold him for just Rs.800.

Under his tutelage, Budhia created a record in May 2006 by running 65 km from Puri to Bhubaneswar in seven hours.

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