SunstarTV Bureau: The Odisha police on Monday arrested the prime accused in the sensational gangrape case involving the estranged wife of an IFS officer, after 22 years from Maharashtra. The case had created a political uproar in the state leading to the resignation of the then Chief Minister of Odisha, JB Patnaik, in 1999.
Bibekananda Biswal alias Biban was arrested by the Twin city Commissionerate police from Aamby Valley in Lonavala where he worked as a plumber. “We have launched “Operation Silent Viper” to track and arrest the accused. Our teams were active in Maharashtra after having received a tip off about his whereabouts and we were working closely with the Maharashtra police. He was working there under a fake identity of Jalandhar Swain at Idyllic resorts,” Commissioner Sudhanshu Sarangi said.
Three persons including the accused had allegedly raped the survivor, who was 29 then, inside a car in front of her friend. The case was reported on January 9, 1999. Seventeen days after the incident, two of the accused were arrested while Biban had been on the run for more than two decades. The two accused who were arrested earlier in the case were convicted and sentenced to life time imprisonment by the District and Sessions Judge of Khurda district. One of the convicts in the case, Pradip Sahu, also known as Padia, had died while undergoing treatment at Capital hospital in February last year.
Reacting to the arrest, the survivor said, “All these years, I felt like dead inside, every day was a struggle to know that my perpetrator was free and yet to be arrested. For all these years, justice was denied. I want he (Biban) should be sentenced to death penalty,” she said.
The incident had created a state wide outrage, with the survivor also accusing the then CM JB Patnaik and his associate of having played a role in the incident, leading to the CM’s resignation.