GANGSTER RAJA’S BAIL BY SUPREME COURT: GITA, LESLIE FEAR THREAT TO LIFE

A day after gangster Raja Acharya, convicted in the sensational case of murder of judo coach Biranchi Das, was granted bail by the Supreme Court, Das’ wife Gitanjali Panda on Saturday alleged that she fears threat to her life.

Gitanjali demanded protection for herself and five other witnesses in the murder case from the Commissionerate police here. She also wanted that the police appoint a special Public Prosecutor (PP) to conduct the case pending against Acharya in the lower court.

Besides, Odia actress Leslie Tripathy, who was also a witness in the case, too said there is now threat to her life and the lives of her family members.

Commissioner of Police YB Khurania told reporters that police protection would be provided to the concerned persons if written pleas are made in this regard. Besides, the question of engagement of a special PP would also be examined.

Raja Acharya, who is lodged in the Jharpada Special Jail here for nine years since May 28, 2008 after being accused of the judo coach’s murder, is expected to come out of the prison within a week following the bail granted to him by the apex court.

According to Acharya’s counsel Shiva Shankar Mishra, Biranchi Das was murdered on April 13, 2008. Police had lodged a murder case at the Badagada police station in Bhubaneswar in this connection. In the same year, the Badagada police arrested Acharya from Goa on May 28. In 2011, the Bhubaneswar District and Sessions Court convicted him and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

However, Acharya had petitioned the High Court challenging the lower court’s verdict. Since the matter did not come up for hearing in the High Court in the last eight long years, Acharya had made an appeal in the Supreme Court, which granted him bail.

It may be recalled that Acharya had allegedly murdered Biranchi Das over his one-sided love affair with Leslie Tripathy. The killing with close-range firing had sent shock waves across the State.

Police had also arrested Chagala, an associate of Acharya in connection with the murder.