Double Murder: Punishable Case Stands Against Odisha MLA Pratap Jena, Rules Court

Cuttack: A court in Cuttack has confirmed that a punishable case stands against BJD MLA Pratap Jena in Mahanga double murder case.

The JMFC Court, Salipur, in its order issued on Monday, said it had perused the protest petition in the case. “After going through the statements of the complainant, witnesses, and other available materials on record, it found that a prima facie case punishable for the offenses under section 302, 506, 120 B of the Indian Penal Code is made against the accused namely Pratap Kumar Jena,” the court said.

The case pertains to murder of BJP leader and former block chairman of Mahanga Kulamani Baral and his associate Dibyasingh Baral on January 2, 2021. The prime accused in the case, Prafulla Biswal, was also found dead under mysterious circumstances near Govindpur in Tangi of the district later.

In the same order, the Salipur court shifted the case to a court in Bhubaneswar. “On further perusal of the case record, it is found that Pratap Kumar Jena is MLA of Mahanga constituency. Hence, the case record be transferred to the court of the Additional District & Sessions Judge-cum-special court, Bhubaneswar for disposal in accordance to law,” the order said.

In his response to the court ruling, Jena told the media that the allegations against him were false and baseless. Stating that it was politically motivated, the MLA said some vested interested people were conspiring to tarnish his image keeping coming elections in mind.

“Some people are intolerant towards the development works I have undertaken in my constituency. Unable to defeat us in successive elections, they have resorted to this conspiracy,” he said.

“The opposition parties, particularly BJP, and Sarada Pradhan, my opponent in the last elections, are trying to trap me in false cases. I am prepared to go for narco test. I challenge my opponents to come forward for the test so that truth would come to light,” he added.

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