A self-styled godman and his son were arrested here on Thursday for alleged involvement in a murder, police said. Inspector General of Police, Central Range, Narasingha Bhol said a self-styled godman Manas Das was arrested for his alleged involvement in the murder of a tribal, Satyabrat Naik, of Begulia area on August 6. Though Das was not present at the scene of the crime, police claimed there was evidence indicating his involvement in the crime.
A case has been registered against Das’s name at Begunia Police Station under different sections of the IPC including 302 (murder), the IG said adding that six other persons were earlier arrested for the killing. Manas Das, the chief of the Manababad Sangathan, and his son Monoranjan were picked up from their residence in the Saheed Nagar area in the city. Though family members had told the police team that the two were not at home, sleuths entered the premises from a back entrance and caught hold of the duo, a senior official said.
They were later handed over to Khurda police which arrested the father-son duo. IG, central range Bhol reached the Khurda SP office and interrogated the self-styled godman. In a video, Das could be seen being taken to the police van by cops. He is facing several allegations, including murder, attempt to murder and assault, from several villagers in Khurda district who alleged that the godman was working against the Sanatan culture. The issue relating to the self-styled godman was in the news as many leaders of the ruling BJD are believed to be his disciples. Pictures of some BJD leaders including sitting MLAs posing with Das were circulating in the social media, an official said. Even former BJD MP Prasanna Patsani has in the past gone on record describing Manas Das as a Guru. The opposition BJP and Congress had made it an issue and even planned to raise it in the Assembly. However, the police on Thursday arrested him before the opposition could take mileage out of the situation. BJP legislator Mohan Majhi wondered why there was such a delay in arresting Das.
In the coming days, the full picture will come to light about the involvement of ruling party members with Das, Majhi told reporters outside the assembly.