Lady cop’s role in Odisha forest officer’s death under scanner | Bhubaneswar News – Times of India

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BHUBANESWAR/BERHAMPUR: The role of the officer-in-charge (OIC) of Gajapati district’s Gurandi PS in the mysterious death of the assistant conservator of forests, Saumya Ranjan Mohapatra, in Paralakhemundi recently, has come under the scanner.
The deceased’s father, Abhiram Mohapatra, has accused OIC Mamata Panda of using her influence to hush up the investigation. Mohapatra has said Panda is the relative of Saumya’s wife Bidya Bharati, who is one of the accused in the assistant conservator of forests’ alleged murder case. Gajapati DFO Sangram Keshari Behera and Bidya’s cook Manmath Kumbha are the two other accused in the case.
“When my son was being rushed to hospital after sustaining serious burn injuries on the intervening night of July 11 and 12, OIC Mamata had stopped the ambulance midway for about an hour. She wanted my son to die without reaching the hospital. The police officer did so at the behest of my daughter-in-law,” Mohapatra has alleged.
Mamata has, however, refused to comment on the allegations so far.
“We will definitely question her. She would be asked to respond to the allegations and whether she visited the district headquarters hospital where Saumya was admitted. Anyone whose suspected links to the alleged murder case comes to the surface will be questioned,” Gajapati SP Tapan Kumar Pattnaik told media persons.
The circumstances, which led to Saumya’s death, continue to remain shrouded in mystery. Whether he set himself on fire or accidentally caught fire or was set ablaze by someone is yet to be ascertained by the police. Bidya, who was at home when Saumya sustained the burn injuries, pleaded ignorance before the police about the cause of his burn wounds. In his dying statement in hospital, Saumya had reportedly told the police that he accidentally caught fire while trying to burn some unnecessary materials at home.
On July 15, two days after he succumbed to the injuries at a hospital in Cuttack, the police booked Bidya, her cook Kumbha and DFO Behera under sections 302 (murder) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code following allegations by the deceased’s family.
Surprisingly, the police have not yet interrogated the DFO, who has been accused of allegedly instigating Bidya to eliminate Saumya. While the DFO was unavailable for comment, the police did not clarify whether they raided his residence or whether he is on the run.
“We will grill the DFO. The Crime Branch team has been assisting our investigating officer in the case,” the SP said, avoiding a question about the delay in bringing the DFO under the purview of the investigation.

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