Former Odisha Assembly Dy Speaker Rama Chandra Panda Gets Back Stolen Gold After 19 Years

Berhampur: Former Odisha Assembly deputy speaker Rama Chandra Panda received back his wife’s stolen gold mangalsutra after 19 years. The incident occurred in 2005 while travelling on a train in Maharashtra.

Maharashtra’s Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel from Kurduwadi station visited Panda’s residence in Berhampur to return the recovered 1.6 gms of gold, albeit in a moulded form. While the monetary value is around Rs 10,000, Panda appreciated the gesture highlighting police accountability and its potential to strengthen public faith in law enforcement.

The incident occurred on December 20, 2005, aboard the Bhubaneswar-Mumbai Konark Express between Solapur and Pune. Miscreants snatched the mangalsutra from Panda’s wife, Sushama, while the train was moving slowly. Panda promptly lodged a complaint with the Maharashtra Railway Police.

The authorities took action, recording Panda’s statement on March 7, 2006, and initiating an investigation. They apprehended a suspected serial train snatcher from Solapur in March 2006. The investigation also led them to a goldsmith, where the stolen ornament (in its moulded form) was recovered.

By May 2011, after completing legal procedures, the police requested Panda to collect the recovered gold from Kurduwadi station. However, Panda expressed his reservations about travelling such a long distance and requested the police to hand it over to the Maharashtra government.

Following consultations with Panda regarding his availability, Maharashtra GRP officials, including Shinde Yashwant Dagadu, visited his residence to deliver the recovered gold in person.

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