Two Bullets Removed From Puri Servitor’s Head; Police Claim To Have Identified The Killers
Puri: A day after Jagannath Temple servitor Krushna Chandra Pratihari was shot dead by miscreants, Puri Police on Wednesday claimed to have identified all those involved in the incident. “All the accused have been identified. Separate teams of police are carrying out raids at several places. They will be arrested soon,” Puri SP Kanwar Vishal Singh informed on Thursday.
The SP further said that all angles, including personal enmity, business rivalry and links with Guna Singhari’s murder case, are being investigated, along with mobile tracking and CCTV footage.
The former member of the management committee of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration was allegedly shot dead by miscreants close to his house at Barabati Jagaghara around 10-40 am on Wednesday. Two bullets were removed from his head during the postmortem. He was hit on the head from behind, sources said.
According to the FIR lodged by his younger brother Narasingha Pratihari, the deceased had named Tutu, Kunmuni, Baba Mahapatra and Hari Panda as his killers before losing consciousness. The servitor had reportedly gone to the community centre to finalise a land deal.
Notably, he was killed in the fashion manner in which former BJD councillor and servitor Taluchha Bhagaban Mohapatra aka Guna Singhari was murdered in August 2012. Pratihari was named the prime conspirator in the case and also jailed, but was acquitted by the court of the first additional district judge in Puri on January 20 this year for want of sufficient evidence.
The strongly built Pratihari is now being suspected to have been killed as part of a conspiracy. He was an influential servitor and wielded considerable clout in the pilgrim town.
The murder has shocked the servitors’ communities and residents of Puri especially because he is usually surrounded by multiple followers. Though there were a few persons present inside the Jagaghar at the time of the murder, none has come forward with their version. Pratihari is said to have several enemies and involved in different cases in the past.