BHUBANESWAR: 31/10/2023: In a recent development, BJD MLA and former Law Minister, Pratap Jena, failed to appear in the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) on Tuesday, following a summons related to the Mahanga double murder case. Instead, Jena was represented by his lawyer, who cited illness and invoked section 205 of the Indian Penal Code, requesting an exemption from personal appearance.
The court had initiated proceedings against Jena on September 25, acknowledging him as an accused in the Mahanga double murder case. This decision was based on a preliminary examination of the complainant’s statements, witness accounts, and available evidence. The court found a prima facie case against Jena, with charges including sections 302 (murder), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
Notably, the Mahanga double murder case revolves around the brutal killing of BJP leader Kulamani Baral, who served as the block chairman of Mahanga, and his associate Dibyasingha Baral. The incident occurred on January 2, 2021, when they were ambushed and murdered by unidentified assailants while returning home on a motorbike.
Adding to the complexity of the case, the prime accused, Prafulla Biswal, was found dead under mysterious circumstances earlier. The hearing on Jena’s case is scheduled for 2 pm today, with the opposition lawyer also seeking to challenge Jena’s request for exemption.
This development in the Mahanga double murder case continues to draw significant attention, and we will provide updates as more information becomes available.