Parcel blast mastermind remanded to 14-day judicial custody

State

Bolangir, May 7

The court of Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SJDM), Patnagarh in Bolangir district on Monday remanded Punjilal Meher, the mastermind of the sensational parcel gift blast, to 14-day judicial custody.

The Crime Branch SIT, after arriving at Patnagarh from Raipur with Meher last night, produced Meher before the SDJM court in the first hour of the day.

The SIT did not want to take him on further remand.

The SIT, led by Crime Branch IG Arun Bothra, had taken Meher to Raipur on Saturday to elicit details of his modus operandi.

In Raipur, Meher was taken to a guesthouse where he gave a live demo before the Crime Branch IG, starting from boarding the train from Kantabanjhi, hiring two rickshaws and then one autorickshaw in Raipur and booking the parcel bomb with a courier service.

He also demonstrated how to make bombs in the presence of the Crime Branch IG and the scientific team, which had accompanied the SIT. The demo given by Meher has been video graphed, sources said.

Notably, as per rules, the statements of the experts, who were the eyewitness to the live demo of Meher, are admissible in the court.

“We have verified the statements of Meher which are under the purview of our investigation. But we cannot divulge about the evidence at the moment as the investigation is underway,” SIT chief Anil Kumar Das told mediapersons at Patnagarh.

Das said Meher has thoroughly cooperated with the SIT in its investigation adding, if necessary, the SIT will again pray the court to take Meher on remand.

Meher’s lawyer Srimad Panigrahi said since the SDJM court has rejected the bail plea of his client, he will appeal in the District and Sessions Court in Balangir.

CB sources said, though the SIT has ample scientific evidence against Meher, it is looking for the autorickshaw driver at Raipur as his statement would be a living evidence for the investigating team.

The SIT has sought the help of the local police and the Crime Branch in Raipur to trace the auto-rickshaw driver.

The Crime Branch SIT had taken Meher on a six-day remand on April 26, a day after his arrest. After the end of the remand period, it had produced him before the SDJM court at Patnagarh on May 2 and prayed for another 8-day remand to which the latter had granted remand for five days.

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