Mystery Deepens Over Lady Panchayat Officer’s Death; Family Seeks probe

Jajpur: Suspense deepened over the death of lady village level worker (VLW) & in-charge panchayat executive officer (PEO) of Haridaspur, whose body was found hanging from the guest house of local sarpanch’s husband yesterday, as family members today ruled out suicide theory and demanded a probe.

Deceased Smitarani Biswal’s husband Sushil today demanded a detailed probe into the death of his wife.

“My wife cannot commit suicide. There were no differences between us or any other family members. My wife was being mentally harassed for not allowing corruption and was being pressurised to keep mum,” said Sushil.

As per reports, Smitarani had left home yesterday to distribute pension to beneficiaries. Later she went to the guest house in the absence of local sarpanch for lunch. Sources said Smitarani’s body was later found hanging from the ceiling fan.

Suspecting foul play behind Smitarani’s death, a delegation of BJP Mahila Morcha from Dharmasala led by Monalisa Das submitted a memorandum seeking a high-level probe into the incident.

“As far as we know, the lady panchayat officer did not have any family disputes. As there is mystery behind the entire chain of events, right from visiting the guest house to her death, the matter should be thoroughly investigated,” said Das.

Jajpur SDPO Kedarnath Sahu, on the other hand, informed that an unnatural death case has been registered based on the complaint filed by the deceased’s family.

“Today, the autopsy has been conducted and the guest house where the incident occurred has been put under surveillance. Soon forensic experts from Kendrapara will visit the spot for further investigation,” said Sahu.

Sahu further stated that already the persons, who were present at the guest house at the time of incident are being interrogated.

Meanwhile, five persons including husband of local sarpanch were later detained in connection with the incident.