CID steps up probe into death of 2 Russian nationals in Odisha
Pavel Antov died after allegedly falling from the hotel's third floor and Vladimir Bidenov, his fellow traveller, was also found dead in his room on December 22
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Odisha Police on Wednesday stepped up the probe into the death of two Russian nationals at a hotel in Rayagada, interrogating their co-travellers and the tour guide, officials said.
Pavel Antov (65), a Russian MP and businessman, died after allegedly falling from the hotel's third floor on December 24. Vladimir Bidenov, his fellow traveller, was also found dead in his room on December 22.
A four-member group of Russians, including Antov and Bidenov and their Delhi-based travel guide Jitendra Singh, had checked in to the hotel in Rayagada district on December 21.
The two co-travellers, Pansasenko Natalia (44) and Turov Mikhail (64) along with Singh are being questioned, police said.
The duo have been asked not to leave the state for the time being.
"The couple and the guide were taken to the crime branch office in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday and later to the state police headquarters on Wednesday, where they are being questioned on different issues like why they chose Rayagada as their destination," a senior police officer said.
Asked if they were detained or arrested, he said "it's nothing of that sort."
"We have so far not found any evidence indicating irregularities. The CID is probing into different angles of the incident," the officer added.
The CID has also sealed both the hotel rooms where Antov and Bidenov (61) were staying.
The post-mortem report of the Russian MP indicates that he died of internal injury after a fall, while that of Bidenov points to a heart attack as the cause of death, police said.
The last rites of the two deceased have been completed with consent of their family members and the Russian Embassy, they said.
Odisha DGP Sunil Kumar Bansal had on Tuesday ordered a CID probe into the "unnatural" death of the two Russian nationals.
Meanwhile, a local administrative officer claimed that the Russian tourists had come to Rayagada to witness the tribal life in the region.