The Odisha government has promoted IPS officer Arun Bothra and two other officials after he cracked the sensational murder of the five-year-old girl in Nayagarh district. Bothra and the two officials from the 1996 IPS batch were promoted to the ADG rank. The new promotions will be effective from January 1, 2021.
“Promotion in All India Services is mostly a time bound affair. Our batch is due for promotion as ADG on January 01, 2021. Nevertheless it’s a happy moment. Stars on uniform will change. Some increase in salary also. Thank you all for your kind words & good wishes,” tweeted Bothra after his promotion.
The IPS officer hailing from Rajasthan is credited for solving the murder case involving the minor girl, ‘Pari’ who was found in a gunny sack near a pond in July. The case had snowballed into a political embarrassment for the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government after it was alleged that prime suspect Babuli Nayak had close ties with minister Arun Sahoo.
The victim’s parents had attempted self-immolation in front of the Odisha Assembly and accused Sahoo of protecting Nayak from arrest for five months. The Opposition BJP and Congress had staged protests seeking dismissal of Sahoo and arrest of the accused.
An SIT was formed under the direction of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in November after political pressure and no new leads by the district police was found. The SIT team led by Bothra managed to arrest the killer after motive was established.
The suspect, an 18-year-old college student and the victim’s neighbour had attempted to rape and ended up strangulating her when she tried to raise an alarm. He then dumped her body near the pond. Despite the student’s arrest, the victim’s parents and the Opposition BJP have demanded a CBI probe. Two days before the student was arrested, he had accused Bothra of offering him Rs 5 lakh to admit that he had killed the girl.
Bothra is also credited for cracking another sensational case in Odisha, known as the Patnagarh parcel bomb case, in 2018. A newly-married engineer and his grandmother had a received a gift parcel containing a bomb. The man and the elderly died in the blast and the man’s wife received serious injuries. A probe team led by Bothra arrested accused college lecturer Punjilal Meher. The man said he was upset after the victim’s mother replaced him at the college where she taught.
Bothra served as CMD of Odisha State Road Transport Corporation. As the managing director of Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT), Bothra is credited for introducing the city bus service, ‘Mo Bus’, in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs lauded the bus service as the ‘Best City Bus Service Project’ in 2019.
Bothra, who has a big following on Twitter, 1.32 lakh followers, often uses the social media platform to help people in dire needs. During coronavirus lockdown in April, Bothra’s efforts through his tweets helped a Mumbai family get 20 litres of camel milk for a three-and-a-half-year-old autistic child, who was allergic to goat, cow and buffalo milk. Bothra also formed a national volunteers’ group that helped many people during the lockdown months.