Rape convict Bitti's luck runs out, arrested in Kannur

Rape convict Bitti's luck runs out, arrested in Kannur

In just about six weeks’ time, Bitti Mohanty, who was handed down a seven-year term in jail in April 2006 for raping a German student in March 2006 in the Alwar town of Rajasthan, would have been a free man again. But he had better ideas.

Bitti, with some help from top police officers, chose a devious method to escape the jail term just after spending seven months of his conviction in November 2006.  Son of former Odisha DGP B B Mohanty, Bitti’s luck ran out on Saturday. Kerala police nabbed him on Saturday night in the northern district of Kannur.

Absconding for over six years after jumping a 15-day parole granted to him in November 2006, the police confirmed Bitti’s identity by Saturday evening.
His arrest was formally recorded and he was produced at Payannur First Class Magistrate court, which remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days.

Bitti, who had just served about seven months in jail when he was granted the parole, will now not only have to undergo the unfinished part of his sentence, but also face several other criminal charges, which could include the parole jumping, acquiring a fictitious name—Raghav Rajan—and forging documents to pursue an MBA course in Kerala, and then to take up a job in a public sector bank. 
 
On Friday, the police picked him from Pazhayangadi in Kannur town. Kannur SP Rahul Nair said that Bitti had been living in and around the town for the past three and a half years and in the last one year he had been working as a probationary officer in the Maadai branch of State Bank of Travancore, pretending to be a youth from Andhra Pradesh with fictitious name, Raghav Rajan.

In the first two years of his stay in the town, the SP said, he pursued an MBA course at Kannur University and secured the degree. Only a detailed probe would unveil how he could do an MBA course and secure a job using a false identity, said Nair.

He would have continued to live as Raghav Rajan but for an anonymous letter received by the bank branch a few weeks ago.  The letter raised doubts that Raghav Rajan could, in fact, be Bitti. The letter also urged the bank officials to watch photos of a large number of persons accused in various sex crimes shown on different national TV channels, which were also posted on the net in the wake of the December Delhi gang-rape incident. 

Bank’s PRO Ranjit Thomas said in preliminary investigation conducted by the bank following the receipt of the letter it was found that there was something amiss. So the bank lodged a formal complaint with the DGP.

Since then, a special team directly monitored by the Samajwadi Party had been closely monitoring him.

A colleague of Bitti said Bitti, smelling a rat, had been bunking for a couple of days from the bank. Bitti distanced himself from other staff in the bank and never disclosed where he lived in the town and his family details.

They had also noticed hefty remittances into his account in the branch. He used several SIM cards.

As television channels flashed the news of his son’s arrest in Kannur, the senior Mohanty was untraceable. Mohanty, who retired last year, lives in Cuttack.

The father has consistently maintained that he had no information about his son’s whereabouts. “I am passing through the most traumatic phase of my life. I even do not know whether my son is dead or alive,” he has maintained.

The father, who was then a DGP, had stood as the surety for the son’s November 2006 parole to meet his allegedly ill mother. Subsequently, when the son did not return to jail, the father was suspended from service early in 2007 and was even arrested and sent to jail for a few nights for “helping, hiding and harbouring” his son.

However, the Odisha government reinstated him in 2009.

There have been allegations that top police officials from Rajasthan had colluded with Mohanty to shield Bitti. 

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