After 22 years, the main accused in the sensational Odisha gangrap case caught

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After a long period of 22 years, the main defendant in the sensational gangrap case in Odisha was detained in Maharashtra on Monday. The case involved the ex-wife of an IFS officer and had gained attention because it had led to the resignation of then-state CM JB Patnaik.

Police say Bibekananda Biswal aka Biban was arrested in the Aamby Valley in Lonavala in Maharashtra. He had assumed the false identity of Jalandhar Swain and worked there as a plumber.

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Police launched Operation Silent Viper three months ago to catch Biban.

The incident, which happened in 1999, sparked statewide outrage. A total of three people have been charged in this case. Two of them – Pradeep Sahi and Dhirendra Mohanty, were arrested and sentenced, while Biban has been on the run for more than two decades. Sahu died in February of last year while Mohanty is still serving Choudwar prison.

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On January 9, 1999, while driving to Cuttack in a car with a journalist friend and her driver, the three men forgot the wife of an IFS agent. The driver was forced to drive the car to a remote location in Baranga where they raped her for hours.

The investigation into the gangrap had changed the entire political scenario of the state and led to the resignation of CM JB Patnaik.

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Biban was turned over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is investigating the case.

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