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Anjana Mishra gang-rape case: Prime accused on the run for 22 years nabbed from Maharashtra

Bhubaneswar: In a major breakthrough in the sensational Anjana Mishra gang-rape case, Odisha police with the help of Maharashtra counterparts nabbed the prime accused Vivekananda alias Biban Biswal, who was absconding for the last 22 years, from Lonavala.

Briefing mediapersons, Twin City Police Commissioner Sudhanshu Sarangi on Monday said the accused had changed his name to Jalandar Swain and was staying in Aamby Valley in Lonavala near Mumbai. He was working as a plumber there.

“He had mentioned Naranpur (Cuttack) in his permanent address. When we initiated an inquiry, we found out that no such person belongs to Naranpur. He had a permanent job, Aadhaar card and bank account there. But, he was in contact with his family members and had asked his family to get a death certificate in his name to avoid police detention in future,” the Police Commissioner informed.

He further informed that ‘Operation Silent Viper’ was launched three months ago with a team of three police personnel, including Cuttack DCP Prateek Singh. On February 19, a special team led by Badambadi police station IIC Rashmi Ranjan Mohapatra left for Mumbai to nab the accused.

“Odisha police with the help of Maharashtra counterparts launched operation ‘Aamby Valley’. The cops got to know that a person named Swain works in Aamby Valley as a mechanic and stays in a staff quarters two and a half km away. Seeing the police, the accused tried to run. However, the cops managed to overpower him and brought him here,” Sarangi said.

Witnesses have recognized him and he will be handed over to CBI, which is investigating the 1999 case. The next course of action will be taken by the investigating agency, the senior cop added.

On the intervening night of January 9-10, 1999 Anjana was gang-raped by three persons near Trisulia Chhak under Barang police limits after having food at a dhaba and was returning to Bhubaneswar along with a journalist-friend Sutanu Guru in a car. She was raped by Padia, Dhirendra and Biban, On January 26 that year, Padia and Dhirendra were arrested.

In 2002, Khurda District and Sessions Judge Court had sentenced Padia Sahu and Dhirendra Mohanty to life imprisonment in the gang rape case. On February 24 last year, Padia died following illness.

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