After the mystery surrounding the deaths of two Russians, including a lawmaker, in a hotel in Odisha recently, the state police are searching for another man from the same country, a self-proclaimed anti-Ukraine war activist, who has gone missing.
The Russian MP was a critic of President Vladimir Putin while the missing man, who used to stay in Puri, was also on the same page, having been sighted earlier on in Odisha’s capital holding placards with anti-war and anti-Putin slogans, seeking financial assistance.
About a month ago, the man was seen in the Bhubaneswar railway station holding a placard that read: “ I am Russian Refugee, I am against War, I am against Putin, I am Homeless, Please Help me”.
The photo of the man holding that placard, clicked by some passenger, has gone viral after the death of his compatriots – lawmaker and businessman Pavel Antov and his fellow traveller Vladimir Bidenov – in a hotel in Rayagada district.
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Antov died after allegedly falling from the hotel’s third floor on December 24 while Bidenov was found dead in his room on December 22.
GRP officials in Bhubaneswar railway station talked to the man holding that poster around a month ago.
“On being informed by some commuters, I went to him and inquired about him. He was loitering on the railway platform, carrying a placard. I had inspected his passport and visa and found the documents to be OK,” said the GRP inspector in charge Jayadev Biswajit.
As he was not conversant in English, not much details could be collected from him, he said.
“The GRP has contacted us. We have provided immediate assistance,” Puri SP Kanwar Vishal Singh said.
The police are now looking for him.
“The police had no cause to suspect any wrong-doing linked to his disappearance at that time, as the Rayagada incident happened thereafter,” a senior railway police official told PTI.
The two deceased Russians were cremated and the CID is investigating their deaths.