Bombay HC Stays Release Of Movie Based On 2018 Parcel Blast Case In Odisha

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday ordered a stay on the release of the movie ‘Patnagarh’ based on the infamous parcel bomb blast case of Patnagarh that claimed two lives in Odisha’s Balangir district on February 23, 2018.

The court directed the producer, director, actors Manoj Mishra, Atul Kulkarni and Tanikella Bharni, senior Odisha-cadre IPS officer Arun Bothra and Sunitha Krishnan (social activist, co-founder of Prajwala, an NGO that works for the rehabilitation of raped people and their children) to file a counter in two weeks.

The court maintained that the movie cannot be released till the trial of the prime accused, Punjilal Meher, is not completed.

The directive of the court came in response to a petition filed by Punjilal’s wife Soudamini Meher.

The movie, which was scheduled to be released on November 8 last year, has been made in Hindi, Telugu, and Odia with English subtitles.

Notably, the Supreme Court on November 6 last year had rejected Soudamini’s petition, seeking a stay on the release of the movie and asked the petitioner to move the Censor Board if she had any objection within 30 days.

The parcel bomb blast had claimed the lives of a newly-married man, Soumya Sekhar Sahu and his grandmother, Jemamani while his wife Rimarani was grievously injured in the explosion.

Following a request from Rimarani and her family, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had ordered a Crime Branch probe into the incident. The Crime Branch took over the investigation on March 23 and arrested Punjilal, the former principal of Bhainsa College, on April 25, accusing him of plotting the blast over past enmity. The accused is currently lodged in Balangir District Jail.

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