Former Odisha Deputy Speaker Rama Chandra Panda Gets Back Stolen Gold After 19 Years

Berhampur: Former deputy speaker of Odisha Assembly Rama Chandra Panda has got back gold snatched from his wife in Maharashtra around two decades ago.

Two Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel from Kurduwadi railway station, where the ‘mangalsutra’ of Panda’s wife was snatched in a moving train 19 years ago, visited the Berhampur residence of the leader on Monday and handed him over the 1.6 gm of gold, in a moulded form.

“I thanked the railway policemen from Maharashtra for recovering the snatched gold ornament and returning it to the rightful owner after about two decades. The value of the ornament might be small, but this gesture shows their accountability. It will strengthen the common man’s faith in the police,” he said.

The incident took place between Solapur and Pune on December 20, 2005, when Panda and his wife Sushama were going to Pune aboard the Bhubaneswar-Mumbai Konark Express.

He had lodged a complaint with the railway police in Maharashtra, alleging that his wife’s ‘mangalsutra’ was snatched by some miscreants inside the train when it was moving slowly. Police had recorded his statement on March 7, 2006 and started a probe, officials said.

During the probe, police had arrested a chain-snatcher from Solapur, who was allegedly involved in a series of snatching cases inside trains, on March 20, 2006. The looted gold ornament in a moulded form was also recovered from a goldsmith, they said.

After completing all the legal procedures, the police had on May 20, 2011 asked Panda to collect the snatched gold from Kurduwadi railway police station.

Panda, however, refused to travel such a long distance to get back the gold and requested the police to hand it over to the Maharashtra government. The police personnel came to Berhampur and handed over the gold to Panda on Monday following instruction from the authorities concerned.

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