BHUBANESWAR: For all his meticulous plans, Punjilal Meher was finally undone by his own smartness. It was his nervous attempt to deflect attention of police from him that brought the English lecturer under Crime Branch radar. The anonymous mail that he wrote to Balangir SP first misled investigators but when Crime Branch took over, it was the same letter that led to his arrest.
The content of the letter, which was studied about a hundred times over by the CB officers, gave way to suspicion that the sender actually could be the man the cops were so frantically looking for over the last two months.
Sources said the first thing that caught attention of the CB investigators was the line that “a special messenger is sent to drop this letter to you (SP, Balangir).”
“The special messenger mention was to say that the sender was from outside and not a local which was to mislead the probe,” said the sources. That was the first giveaway.
The second was the mention in the mail that the parcel sender was SK Sinha, not RK Sharma. Interestingly, earlier police, the Sky King courier company had mis-read Sinha (handwritten) as Sharma and told the media that the sender went by the name RK Sharma. But Punjilal tried to correct that which made CB sleuths wonder who possibly could know that other than the person behind the whole exercise.
“Punjilal was always under the radar of investigators but when we tried to piece together the story, our suspicion got stronger,” sources said.
Another major giveaway were usage of words “three men were undertaking the project (the parcel bomb plan) at Raipur, not two.” Use of words like projects and undertaking are used by management professionals and Punjilal had an MBA degree. Usage of English language also made the CB sure that he was behind it.
“When we confronted him, he was expecting questions on parcel bomb and murder but was taken aback once we asked him about the letter. After a while, he confessed to sending it but gave poor reasons behind the act. He said he was asked by a stranger to drop the letter but when we showed evidence that he had deleted an MS Word document on a particular day, he started to give in,” sources added.
He had also written in the mail that the reason behind the parcel bomb was “betrayal” and “crores of rupees” which meant he wanted to divert attention towards a love angle and monetary matter to mislead the probe.
But sustained interrogation and evidence led to his psychological breakdown and Crime Branch nailed the detailed confession about how he planned everything and executed it all by himself.