Techie absconding for 7 years held in City

The Andhra Pradesh Police have finally tracked down and arrested Anwesh Ray, son of Jnanpith awardee Pratibha Ray of Odisha, in the suicide-cum-murder case that took place in the posh Banjara Hills seven years ago.

Anwesh had taken shelter in Bangalore and worked as a software engineer in a firm located in Koramangala. He was arrested last week in Bangalore for abetting the suicide of his pregnant wife Sharmistha, who jumped from an apartment complex in Srinagar Colony on March 24, 2007.

Anwesh was brought to the city on Tuesday and produced before a local court by CID sleuths. He was remanded in 14 day judicial custody.

Sharmistha, who worked for Applabs in Hyderabad as a software engineer, was married to Anwesh, the oldest son of the Jnanpith novelist, in 1998. She was in her seventh month of pregnancy when she died. The relationship between Anwesh and Sharmistha, both engineering graduates from BITS Pilani, had soured within a year of their wedding. Anwesh allegedly harassed her, physically and mentally, said her father, P R Mohanty, former director general of forests and environment in AP, in his complaint.

Anwesh had absconded after Sharmistha’s suicide and a non-bailable warrant (NBW) was pending against him for all these years. The Hyderabad police got a tip-off that he was staying in Bangalore under a pseudonym and worked as an engineer in a software company. He was admitted to a private hospital following some health issues and produced in a local court.

The case was initially registered at the Banjara Hills police station, and later transferred to the CID. Moreover, Mohanty had earlier absolved his son-in-law of any responsibility in the death of his daughter.

This case bears a striking similarity to that of the Bitihotra (Biti) Mohanty. Biti is the son of retired director general of police (fire services), Bidya Bhushan Mohanty, also from Odisha. Biti was 25 when he was charged with raping a German national in his hotel room in Alwar, Rajasthan, on March 21, 2006. He was convicted on April 12, 2006.

He lived a dual life with the help of fake certificates in the name of Raghav Rajan. He obtained an MBA degree from a Kerala college and later a job in a public sector bank. Biti, at the time of his arrest, was working as a probationary officer in the State Bank of Travancore, Madayi branch, Kannur in Kerala, disguised as an Andhra native. He was arrested following an anonymous letter.

Biti had jumped parole in 2006 and had been sentenced to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment by a fast track court. He served only seven months of the term after which he disappeared and started living under a pseudonym.

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