26 Apr 2018: Odisha: Lecturer arrested for sending parcel bomb as wedding gift
An English lecturer of a private college in Odisha was arrested on Wednesday for killing a newly-wed software engineer, his great-aunt and grievously injuring his wife.
The 46-year-old accused, Punjilal Meher, teaches at Jyoti Vikas College in Western Odisha's Patnagarh town. He sent software engineer Soumya Sekhar Sahu a parcel bomb masked as a wedding gift in February.
Arrest: A 'lone-wolf crime'
Calling it a "lone-wolf crime", Odisha's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) have not arrested anyone but Meher.
Meher is now on CID's six-day judicial remand for further interrogation.
"It's well established that Punjilal masterminded and executed the crime almost single-handedly. He himself made the bomb," RP Sharma, Odisha director general of police, told Hindustan Times.
The incident: Soumya died five days after his wedding
Sent by courier from Raipur, the bomb exploded in Soumya's face when he opened the gift at his residence in Bolangir's Patnagarh town on February 23, five days after his wedding.
He and his 85-year-old great-aunt Jemamani Sahu were killed in the explosion. Reema, his 22-year-old newly-wed bride, suffered severe injuries and was hospitalized for over a month. Soumya was 26 years old.
Motive: Why would anyone want to kill the Sahus?
According to the investigators, Meher was Jyoti Vikas College's principal before Soumya's mother, Sanjukta Sahu, a history lecturer, was appointed the head in May 2014.
"Punjilal was so consumed with hate that he wanted to wipe off her entire family. His intention was to cause the maximum damage and so he chose the timing accordingly," CID inspector general Arun Bothra told HT.
Preparation: He learnt to make bombs through YouTube
Meher reportedly taught himself to make bombs by watching YouTube videos and DIY manuals on the web. He was sharp enough to always delete his search history and remove any other traces that might give him away, said Odisha police.
Last Diwali, he stocked firecrackers and began experimenting, dismantling them, putting the explosives in the LED lights used for decoration and testing smaller explosions.
Execution: Meher got caught despite a well thought out master plan
Meher had thought through his action-plan up to the last detail. He marked his attendance in college the day he went to Raipur to courier the bomb. He travelled without a train ticket.
In Raipur, he got the parcel delivered to the courier agency through an auto driver.
Upon CID's interrogation, he sent them an "anonymous letter" urging them to not harass innocent people.