Odisha police yet to trace teacher’s killer, CBI probe sought
Bhubaneswar: Police are yet to trace the man who set a female teacher on fire allegedly for not withdrawing a molestation case against her senior, prompting opposition Congress and BJP to demand a CBI probe into the matter on Tuesday.
The crime branch of Odisha police, which had been probing the murder of the teacher of Tikiri Upper Primary School in Rayagada district, today took suspended sub-inspector of schools Netrananda Dandsena on four days remand for further interrogation.
Dandsena, against whom the teacher had lodged a molestation case in July, was arrested by police on October 30, three days after a miscreant set her on fire.
The crime branch is planing to bring Dandsena here for a lie detector test, police said, adding that his political links were also being looked into.
The 36-year-old teacher, who was set on fire by an unknown person on the night of October 27, died on November 1.
The teacher's family had alleged that the accused SI was getting political protection and was therefore not arrested for a long time.
Her father Balabhadra Pradhan had said despite seeking the intervention of the district administration, the police, the state commission for women, besides writing to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik seeking protection, none came to her rescue.
Congress and BJP demanded a CBI probe as the crime branch was under the home department which is headed by the Chief Minister himself.
"Since the Chief Minister, police and district administration, whom the teacher had requested for protection, are involved in the barbaric act, the crime branch cannot question them. So, the case should be handed over to CBI for impartial probe," BJP leader B B Harichandan said.
Senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik also asked the Chief Minister to hand over the case to CBI if he sincerely wanted to punish the culprits involved in the matter.
"The victim had personally met the district collector, the SP, women's commission and the DGP. She had given a written petition to the Chief Minister, who is also the Home Minister. Who else is she supposed to appraise of the harassment that she was going though at work place?" he asked.
If the government indeed cares for safety of women, particularly working women, a CBI investigation should be ordered rather than making a few lower level government functionaries the scapegoat, he added.
Meanwhile, Chandrasekhar Panda, the headmaster of the school where the victim worked as a teacher before being killed, has sought police protection and transfer apprehending revenge attacks.
Panda, along with his wife, met with Rayagada district collector S B Padhi on Monday to appeal for immediate transfer from Tikiri and necessary protection.