Bitti in Kerala cops' custody

Rape convict to be taken to Rajasthan first

Bitti in Kerala cops' custody

The Kerala Police have secured a 10-day custody of rape convict Bitti Mohanty who had jumped parole seven years ago while serving a prison term in Rajasthan.

The police had requested his custody for two weeks for a detailed interrogation and also for taking him to Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Odisha for collecting evidence.

Bitti, son of former Odisha DGP B B Mohanty, had been absconding for seven years while serving a jail term for raping a German student in the Alwar city of Rajasthan in 2006. He was arrested by the Kerala Police on Friday. Bitti had secured a job in  the Kannur branch of State Bank of Travancore under the false name of Ragava Rajan.

Police face a challenging task to demolish his claims that he is indeed Rajan on the basis of the documents in his possession, but sources said finger prints collected at the Alwar jail can be used to establish his identity.

A member of the probe team told Deccan Herald that high-level discussions are on for a DNA test to establish Bitti’s real identity, but it could prove difficult as reports from Bhubaneswar suggest that his home is locked and his parents are away. Tracing them would be tough for Kerala Police.

The source said the police have asked their Rajasthan counterparts to help establish his identity.

Rajasthan police have already informed the investigators that Bitti’s photographs are too faded to be of any use in determining his identity.

Meanwhile, a four-member Rajasthan police team led by Circle Inspector Sampath Singh reached Kannur on Monday evening. Sub Inspector Hemander Sharma, who had arrested Bitti in Alwar city, was also in the team and he is said to have identified Bitti. They have come with a warrant to take Bitti to Alwar.       

However, Kerala Police have to ascertain his identity before handing him over to their Rajasthan counterparts.

A woman colleague of Bitti, with whom he had an affair, is said to have informed the bank of his impersonation. She sent a hand-written letter to the SBT headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram. A copy of the letter sent to the branch landed in Bitti’s hand, which he destroyed. Details of his phone calls, verified by the police, revealed that he had long conversations with the colleague.

Sources said initial questioning by the Rajasthan Police revealed that the arrested man “is indeed Bitti.”  “But since he is refusing to be identified with Bitti perhaps more scientific tests like DNA tests may have to be conducted to establish the fact,” they said. In November 2006, Bitti secured parole to visit his ailing mother but disappeared soon after.

Odisha to cooperate

Meanwhile, Odisha police said they will cooperate in Bitti’s case. “We have directed the state police to extend all cooperation if police teams from both states arrive here for investigation,” a home department source said on Monday.

He said the Odisha Police had cooperated fully when the Rajasthan team visited the state to investigate Bitti’s father, former DG B B Mohanty’s role in his son’s escape after jumping parole.  In 2007, the Rajasthan police arrested the retired Odisha top cop accusing him of helping his rapist son to jump parole and escape.

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