My memory of Anjana Mishra gang rape.

Satyabrata Dwibedy

Most probably it was 8th January 1999.I was the producer and news editor of a Prime time News and current Affairs Program of Doordarshan titled Darpana.At about 6.30am I got a phone call from my cameraman Abhi Mohanty regarding a horrible news of Anjana Mishra heading to Cuttack Mahila Thana to lodge a FIR,she has been raped in the previous night by a gang of unsocial elements.It was a shocking news as Anjana Mishra was already in lime light for her alleged molestation complain against the then Advocate General Indrajit Ray.She was actually on the way to Cuttack from Bhubaneswar to meet her Advocate Debashish Panda regarding the said issue.The incident occurred at Trisulia after midnight.Obviously I instructed my cameraman to cover the story in detail and deputed my Cuttack reporter to collect bites from Anjana Mishra,her driver and most importantly the bite of Sutanu Guru,who was a friend of Anjana Mishra and was with her in that unfortunate night.

Hours after my instruction my reporter called me and seek my presence in the site as they apprehend the case a complex one.

Looking at the gravity of the issue I rushed to Mahila Thana,as I was staying at Cuttack in those days.When I arrived I saw Anjana Mishra writing her FIR ,it was a FIR of 12 page and after completion of the FIR she added the name of the then Chief Minister J.B.Pattanik by marking an arrow in last but one page as one of the perpetrators.She gave an elaborate bite of the incident.Her friend Sutanu Guru also narrated the incident, but he was looking nervous. Then he was the news head of OTV.In 1999 OTV was not a satellite Channel,it was a cable Channel operational within Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.

I smell some doubt within the narrative of Anjana Mishra,I asked her many crucial questions ,I still remember few of them.

1.Why you skipped your PSO on that night while travelling to Cuttack ?As there was a life threat to Anjana Mishra,Odisha Government had provided a PSO to her.Her answer was not convincing.

2.Why you prefer to travel from Bhubaneswar to Cuttack via Baranga in late night overlooking the crowded main highway ?At that time the Baranga route was always prone to rubbery,snatching , all other unsocial and criminal activities. The answer of Anjana Mishra was also not so convincing.

3.The distance from Bhubaneswar to the occurence site was at best 30 minutes,she left Bhubaneswar at about 10.20 PM and incident occurred after midnight,where are you in this gap period ? She avoided the question.

4.Your advocate Debashish Panda was at Bhubaneswar at his in-laws house on that that,then to whom you were going to meet?Her answer was again not convincing.

When all media covered the story on an emotional note I preferred to touch the technicality of the story.After broadcast of my story at about midnight when I was in the editing room to prepare my next episode, I received a call in my mobile with a Bhubaneswar number most probably from the Rasulgarh area,the person heavy with slang questioned me if I have taken money from CM J.B.Pattnaik to question the merit of the case.He threatened me with a bold voice.I was frightened because that Odisha was a free run Odisha for Criminals.I thought a FIR may multiply my trouble,so next day I moved to Kolkatta for Advirtisement marketing of my serial and dropped further follow up story of Anjana Mishra.I spend seven days in Kolkatta.

Political impact of Anjana Mishra issue:-

J.B.Pattnaik lost his job as C.M. and Congress lost 2000 election mostly in this issue.BJP was very aggressive to explore the Law and Order situation of Osisha referring Anjana Mishra as a model.Even today BJD and BJP explain the Jangle Raj of Congress with special reference to Anjana Mishra case.

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