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Five more people were arrested yesterday for their alleged involvement in the murder of a contractor at a hotel in Ganjam district ten days ago, taking the total number of accused held in the case to six. A steel rod used to hit Kuresh Gouda (40), a contractor engaged in construction business, was also recovered from them, said sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) of Chikiti, Prakash Chandra Jena. "Business rivalry led to Gouda's murder," he said, adding some more people are likely to be arrested in the case. The five accused were identified as Sanjay Panigrahi (37) of Gulunda, Debaraj Sethi (40) of Ambagon, Braja Sundara Gouda (36) and Upendra Pradhan (32) of Khariaguda, and Udit Kumar Dora (32) of Digapahandi, police said. Another accused, Kesab Kundu (40), who also hailed from Khariaguda, was held by the Baidyanathpur police here on Wednesday afternoon after a brief exchange of fire. He sustained bullet injuries in the encounter and was undergoing treatment at MKCG Medical College and Hospital here, Jena said. At least eight masked men had entered the hotel at Digapahandi in Ganjam district on October 3 and attacked Gouda while he was eating.
He was rushed to a hospital where the doctors declared him "dead". The BJP had alleged that the some of those accused in the case had links with the leaders of the BJD, a charge that was denied by the ruling party.
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