Police firmly believe that a business rivalry between stevedoring companies at the port of Odisha was the reason behind the assassination of a prominent name in local shipping circles last month. Five men were arrested yesterday in connection with the murder of Mahendra Swain, the general manager of Seaways Shipping and Logistics (SSL). Swain, 45, was heading to work in his car when two motorcycle-borne assailants stopped him, shot him and threw crudely made bombs into his car.
Police are now building a case against Mahimananda Mishra, the head of rival Odisha Stevedores Limited.
“We have got clinching evidence against Mishra. All the accused, who actively participated in the murder, have been arrested. The industrialist had paid [$18,000 for hiring assassins to carry out the murder,” Soumendra Priyadarshi, inspector general of the local police force told The Hindu yesterday.
Odisha Stevedores had held a monopoly at Paradip Port for decades, something that had latterly come under threat from Swain’s SSL.