Death Of Russians In Odisha: IB Sleuths Visit Rayagada Hotel

Rayagada: With mystery shrouding the death of Russian lawmaker Pavel Antov and his friend at Rayagada, sleuths of the Central Intelligence Bureau (IB) on Thursday visited the hotel for inspection in this south Odisha town where the two recently died.

According to sources, the IB officials visited different parts of the hotel, spoke to its employees and examined CCTV footage as part of an exercise to ascertain the circumstances that led to the death of the two Russians.

The team members also visited Rayagada police station and the crematorium where bodies of the Russian lawmaker and businessman Pavel Antov and his fellow traveller Vladimir Bidenov were cremated.

Antov (65) died after allegedly falling from the hotel’s third floor on December 24 while Bidenov (61) was found dead in his room on December 22. Both were in Rayagada along with two other Russian travellers.

In another development, a Crime Branch (CB) team of Odisha police consisting of four officers and two forensic experts was formed to assist the CID probing into the deaths, according to a statement.

The new team headed by a deputy superintendent of police level officer is entrusted with the responsibility of visiting the spot, examining the witnesses and identifying and collecting evidence from the spot and local police and taking follow-up action.

The CID-CB is in the process of contacting family members of the deceased persons to cross-check the veracity of information collected during the examination of two other Russians – Pansasenko Natalia (44) and Turov Mikhail (64) – who were with Antov and Bidenov.

The four-member group of Russians and their Delhi-based travel guide and interpreter Jitendra Singh had checked in to the hotel on December 21.

“Both the Russian tourists are fully cooperating with the enquiry,” the statement said.

The CID team also questioned Jitendra Singh, it said adding: “The CID-CB Team has further collected copies of documents regarding their travel in India.” The post-mortem report of the Russian MP indicates that he died of internal injury after a fall, while that of Bidenov point to a heart attack as the cause of death, police said.

The last rites of the two deceased have been completed with the consent of their family members and the Russian Embassy, sources said.

Antov’s viscera samples were not preserved before his body was consigned into flames. However, those of Bidenov were preserved.

On the reason behind the Russians visit to Rayagada, a local official said that they had come to witness tribal life and culture.


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