Dr Dhrubraj Naik, former vice-chancellor of Odisha's Sambalpur University, was hewn to death outside his Jharsuguda house by a 20-year-old youth on Sunday, 27 June. The assailant, Pravin Dharwa, has been booked under the charges of murder.
According to an Indian Express report, the ex-vice-chancellor had registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Pravin Dharwa and his family members for attempting to seize his pond in his native village of Sargidihi.
The pond had been rented out to a few families in the village for the past three years, before the lease expired earlier this year.
In a feud that followed, Dharwa and his kin refused to surrender their rights to the water body, leading to the police case against them.
Dharwa had been apprehended and then later released on bail in the case lodged with the Laikera police station a month ago.
The accused had reportedly paid a visit to Naik's house on Sunday to extort Rs 15,000 that he had paid as legal fees in the case that had been filed against him.
When Dharwa was refused the money by Naik, a squabble ensued between the two of them outside the house, where the former allegedly hacked the 83-year-old man to death with an axe he had been carrying.
The former vice-chancellor was immediately taken to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
The accused was later captured from a jungle near the village after a two-hour long police hunt, and was subsequently arrested for murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.
The Governor of Odisha expressed his condolences over the academician's demise in a tweet.
The State Secretary of BJP Odisha also paid his tribute to the late vice-chancellor.
(With inputs from The Indian Express)