Berhampur: Three persons, including an alleged contract killer of Uttar Pradesh, were arrested in connection with the murder of a Congress leader in Odisha`s Ganjam district, police said on Saturday.
DIG, Southern range Amitabh Thakur said the three were arrested from Sheragada, about 45 km from here on Thursday night.
The sword used to kill the Congress leader Makara Gouda was recovered from Balipada canal, he said adding the alleged contract killer from Uttar Pradesh who was hired to commit the crime was identified as Ajaya Kumar Sharma alias Saroj.
Sharma was arrested when he went to Shergada to collect his contract money, the DIG said, adding investigation has been initiated on his involvement in other crimes in Odisha and his home state Uttar Pradesh.
Gouda (58), a former chairman of Sheragada panchayat samiti, was attacked with the sword on Hinjili-Sheragada road on October 2 while he was returning home at Sunathara in motorcycle. He succumbed to his injuries at MKCG Medical College and Hospital here on October 25.
Police had circulated three sketches of the accused after his death and announced rewards for those who could give information on them. One of the three arrested persons was among those whose sketches were circulated, police said.
At least five more persons were suspected to be involved in the murder, Ganjam superintendent of police Ashish Kumar Singh said adding they have been identified and efforts are on to arrest them.
Personal rivalry was motive behind the murder and the accused had made two attempts earlier to kill him, the police said.