Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of Basant Panda, prime accused in the sensational murder of Jayashree Mishra of Sambalpur town.
The court had earlier rejected the bail plea of the accused in August last year. Panda, an accused in the 2011 case, is now lodged in the Circle Jail in Sambalpur.
The incident had occurred on October 13, 2011, when Jayashree Mishra of Nandapada in Sambalpur city had gone to distribute the marriage card of her daughter, Bijayani. As she did not return to her house, her daughter lodged a complaint in the Town police station accusing Panda, a distant brother-in-law of her mother, as the killer. Instead of registering a case, police remained silent with a station diary citing that the woman might have eloped with someone. Despite Bijayini’s fervent requests for a thorough investigation, police did not register a case.
Meanwhile, Bijayini left for Delhi to pursue her higher studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). But, she continued her pursuit to trace her missing mother by personally contacting the Town Police IIC, Sambalpur SP and the DIG, Northern Range and requesting them to reopen the case. After failing to get any response, she finally met the then Director General of Police (DGP) RP Sharma in Cuttack on June 17, 2019 and requested his intervention in the matter.
Taking account of her ordeal, the DGP directed the Sambalpur police who registered a murder case and on the basis of the complaint arrested Panda.
During interrogation, the accused, while admitting to his crime, told the police that he had left for Haridwar after giving Rs 200 to his associate Chaitanya Kanra to dig out a pit and bury Jayashree’s body.
Police later took the accused to a place near his native village Badasinghara on June 26 and exhumed the remains of the body with the help of a JCB in the presence of the police, the magistrate and a scientific team.
Not content with the arrest of the accused, Bijayini later met the then Crime Branch ADG, Santosh Upadhyay on July 28 and requested him for a thorough investigation into her mother’s murder. The ADG later directed the police to reopen the case.
Acting in the directive, the Town Police had sought the permission of the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) Sambalpur to conduct the DNA test of the skull. After getting the permission of the court on July 31, police conducted the DNA test which confirmed that it was the skull of Jayashree.
On the basis of the DNA test report, police produced the accused in the court which remanded him to jail after rejecting his bail plea.