New Delhi: Odisha DGP Sunil Kumar Bansal directed a CID investigation into the “unnatural” deaths of two Russian nationals and insisted that “there is no foul play” in the death of the two Russian tourists, one of whom was a Russian lawmaker, at the same hotel in the Rayagada district on Tuesday, reported news agency PTI. “DGP, Odisha has ordered CID-Crime Branch to take over enquiry into Rayagada Police Station UD Case. These cases relate to unnatural death of two Russian nationals in Rayagada Dist,” the Odisha Police said on Twitter.
DGP, Odisha has ordered CID-Crime Branch to take over enquiry into Rayagada Police Station UD Case No.34/2022 & No.35/2022. These cases relates to unnatural death of two Russian nationals in Rayagada Dist. @CIDOdisha
— Odisha Police (@odisha_police) December 27, 2022
On December 24, Pavel Antov, who was a member of Putin’s United Russia party and a multi-millionaire, was reportedly on a trip to celebrate his upcoming 66th birthday when he was found lying in a pool of blood outside the Hotel Sai International in Rayagada. On December 22, his companion and travel companion Vladimir Bidenov was also found dead in his room.
Confirming Pavel’s death, the Rayagada Police told news agency PTI that they were suspecting it to be a case of suicide. “Pavel was in depression due to the death of his friend,” a senior police official told the news agency.
As per the Telegraph report, Pavel had posted a story on his WhatsApp in July criticising Russia’s missile attacks on Kyiv as “terrorism”, referring to reports of a girl that had been pulled out from rubble after her house had been shelled.
Shortly afterward, he apologised for the post, claiming that the message had been posted by someone else. He said he was “a supporter of the president and my country’s patriot” and “shared the goals” of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Vladimir and Pavel were part of a four-member group of Russian tourists who along with their guide Jitendra Singh had checked into the hotel in Rayagada town on Wednesday, stated the PTI report.
“On 21st four people came to stay in our hotel, two of them died while two are still here. We are waiting for their documents from Russian Embassy. They’ll leave,” said the owner of hotel where Russian tourists stayed.
Bidenov had been declared dead by doctors when he was rushed to the district hospital. The officer stated that questions are being asked of the deceased’s other companions.
He added that while Budanov’s final rites were performed in Rayagada, police preserved Antov’s body.
Following Bidenov’s death, hotel owner Koushik Thakkar stated that Antov was clearly disturbed and appeared to be depressed.
(With PTI Inputs)