Balangir: Shedding light on the sensational Patnagarh parcel gift blast case, IG, Crime Branch, Arun Bothra on Wednesday said the main accused, Punjilal Meher, had made several attempts in the last seven to eight months to eliminate Sanjukta Sahu, mother of the bridegroom who had died in the explosion.
Punjilal, an English lecturer of Jyoti Bikash College at Bhainsa, was arrested the previous night after three-day of marathon grilling.
Bothra said the accused had developed ill-feelings for Sanjukta, after she replaced him as the principal of the college, and hatched the conspiracy to settle personal scores with her.
“Punjilal had neither divulged his plan nor taken anyone to his confidence for fear of being exposed. To fulfil his mission, he had tried to prepare the bomb on his own. After learning the art of preparing bomb from the Internet, he had purchased crackers from the local market on Diwali on October 18, 2017, and collected about 2 kg of gun powder from these. Later, he conducted a series of experiments detonating miniature bombs with the help of mini LED bulbs. After succeeding in his efforts, he reached the final stage of his mission,” Bothra said.
He further said in order to dodge police and escape CCTV cameras, Punjilal had gone to Raipur in disguise in a train without ticket.
“After arriving at Raipur, he hired an autorickshaw and offered him extra money to book the parcel at Skyking Courier,” the IG informed.
After the blast, Punjilal had kept a detailed account of the police investigation. “He became terribly disturbed when his name cropped up in the media after some days. To divert the direction of investigation, he posted an anonymous letter addressed to the police wherein he had stated that the blast was the outcome of a love affair of the bride,” Bothra pointed out.
The accused, during interrogation, confessed to his crime, he said, adding that the police had seized country bombs, gunpowder and laptop from his house.
The IG further informed that the efforts are on to trace out the auto-rickshaw driver who was hired by Punjilal in Raipur.
“The Crime Branch team had taken Punjilal to Raipur yesterday. After arriving in Raipur, he had told the team about the places he had visited and from where he had sent the parcel. After a daylong search, the Crime Branch team could not trace out the auto-rickshaw driver. The Crime Branch team has sought the help of the local police and auto-rickshaw association to trace out the auto-rickshaw driver who will be arrested very soon,” he added.
On February 23, the bridegroom, Soumyasekhar, and his grandmother were killed in an explosion while unwrapping a parcel they had received as wedding gift by courier in their house at Bholanathpada of Bramhapura village under Patnagarh police limits.
Soumyasekhar’s wife Reema Sahoo was critically injured in the incident and recently discharged after treatment at SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack.