News: The Re-Arrest of Bitihotra Mohanti, the Fugitive Rape Convict


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Myself .

By T.V. Antony Raj

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Earlier this week, the headquarters of the State Bank of Travancore (SBT) in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, India, received an anonymous letter written in English stating that one of their employees named Raghav Rajan working in their Madai branch in Kannur district was in fact the fugitive rape convict Bitihotra Mohanti alias Bitti wanted by the police on a charge of raping a 26-year-old German student in Alwar in Rajasthan in 2006.

Ranji Thomas, SBT Chief Manager (Public Relations) said that they scrutinized the details in the original application form submitted by Raghav Rajan who posted as a probationary officer since June 2012 in their Madai branch in Kannur district. He had applied for the post using the name ‘Raghav Rajan’ son of ‘Rajeev Rajan of Ananthapur in Andhra Pradesh’. He had named two people from Andhra Pradesh as referees. One of them was a caretaker of the building where Rajan lived, and the other declared that he had no direct contact with Rajan, and at the request of a friend had agreed to his name being used as reference. So, his office alerted the branch and advised them to contact the police. The bank approached the Kerala DGP who, in turn, referred the matter to the district police in Kannur.

Bitti Mohanti - 2
Bitihotra Mohanti arrested by the Kerala Police.

Police arrested Raghav Rajan on Friday night, March 8, in Kannur. On Saturday, a local court remanded Bitti to judicial custody until February 23, after charging him under IPC sections dealing with cheating and forgery.

A police officer said that before his arrest Bitti was planning to flee Kerala, and a scar recorded in 2006 as an identification mark by the Rajasthan jail authorities before Bitti jumped parole had been found on the arrested person. Deputy Superintendent of Police D. Sudarshan, who is investigating the case, said the arrested convict confessed that he is Bitihotra Mohanti. “We have informed the Rajasthan Police about his arrest and a team from there is expected,” Sudarshan said.

According to the police, it was the December 16 Delhi gang rape that led to Bitti’s cover being blown. In the wake of the Delhi gang rape, his photo was among the photographs of sex offenders that were repeatedly displayed by social media and TV channels. A person residing in Palayangadi in Kannur District on noticing Raghav Rajan at the bank resembled Bitti Mohanti alerted the bank. The police department feels happy for having nabbed the rape convict who had until now been absconding. However, they wonder how he had managed to give them the slip all these years while living so publicly.

On March 21, 2006, police arrested Bittihotra Mohanti son of B. B. Mohanti, former DGP of Odisha on a charge of raping a 26-year-old German student in Alwar in Rajasthan in 2006. In one of the fastest rape trials in the country, a fast-track court sentenced Bitti to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment. However, on November 20, 2006, while on a 15 day parole granted to meet his ailing mother in Cuttack, Bitti jumped parole and had absconded ever since.

While on the run, Bitti joined Chinmaya Institute of Technology in Kannur in 2007 for the two-year MBA course. He then worked for a few months as faculty member in a management institute in Kannur and at an e-learning institute in Kollam.

Dr. Falgunan, Director of Chinmaya Institute of Technology said the person they knew as Raghav Rajan was a brilliant student who scored high marks in MAT (Management Aptitude Test). He also said that he remembers Mohanti’s father who came to give a declaration at the time of admission. “I can’t say whether it was his father or not,” he said.

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