Jharaphula was strangulated to death, say police sources

Bhubaneswar/Jajpur: Rakesh Swain, the prime accused in death mystery of Ramadevi Women’s University student Jharaphula Nayak, has allegedly murdered her, said a senior police official on condition of anonymity.

The accused, who was said to be boyfriend of Jharaphula, killed her at the private guesthouse, where the duo had spent night together on January 26. The body was dumped near Kuakhia, 90 km away from Jajpur, to destroy evidence.

Rakesh confessed to the crime before police during interrogation in remand, the police source said.

Police have ample evidence against Rakesh Swain and investigation is underway to collect vital evidence to make the case strong against the accused. The death mystery of Jharaphula will be cracked soon, the police source said.

The reliable source said that Jharaphula Nayak and her alleged beau Rakesh Swain had checked in a private guesthouse at Dharma Vihar in Khandagiri area in Bhubaneswar on January 26. They stayed together at Room No. 201 at night. During the period, they had a heated argument following which Rakesh allegedly killed Jharaphula on the fateful night. The young girl is said to have died of asphyxiation.

In this connection, the police have collected many evidences during search at the guesthouse in Bhubaneswar. While the clue was found in the autopsy report, Rakesh is also said to have admitted to choking her to death.

Even the guesthouse staff have reportedly revealed to police about alleged scuffle between Jharaphula and Rakesh inside the room. However, they were unaware of the reason behind the confrontation, source said.

Meanwhile, police have seized clothes and mobile phone of the deceased during investigation.

Source said that accused Rakesh Swain threw the mobile phone a short distance from where Jharaphula’s body was dumped near Kuakhia area in Jajpur district. A local man later found the mobile phone and took it with him. So the police could not reach the mobile phone while they had taken Rakesh to the spot for a demo. The person, who had got the mobile phone, returned it to the police and the police are now expecting to get a lot of information from it. Police also seized clothes worn by Jharaphula from the spot where the scooter was hiding. It is alleged that the accused had intentionally hid it, the source said.

Rakesh had allegedly used his scooter to carry the body of Jharaphula from the guesthouse and dumped the body near Kuakhia area on January 27.

Police source said that the associate identified as Shakti Sekhar alias Sekhar, who had driven the scooter carrying the body for dumping on roadside, is still absconding. The police have laid a trap to nab the accused. He is said to have in touch with his relatives and friends in Sundarpada and area adjacent to it on outskirts of Bhubaneswar.

Source said that Rakesh and his aide Sekhar had returned to Bhubaneswar after throwing the body of Jharaphula in Jajpur on January 27. They had visited Sundarpada. After dropping Sekhar there, Rakesh had hid the scooter near an under construction house, a few distance from his residence. Later, he had visited his aunt (father’s sister) on a motorcycle in Balianta. Disturbed by the incident, he skipped dinner during his stay at his relative’s house. His cousin asked him the reason behind it. Though, Rakesh had narrated entire incident to his cousin, did not disclose the truth that he had murdered Jharaphula. The police reached his relative’s house by tracking his phone.

Recently, Rakesh’s two cousins had been grilled by the Kuakhia Police in connection with the death case of Jharaphula. After recording their statements, the police have released the duo yesterday.

Moreover, Rakesh has been sent to judicial custody till February 12 after he was produced before the District Judge Court, Jajpur following completion of three-day remand on Friday.

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News Live Odisha

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