Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Odisha Crime Branch investigating the sensational death case of Paralakhemundi Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF), Soumya Ranjan Mohapatra, gave clean chit to the key suspects, DFO Sangram Keshari Behera and Manmath Kumbha, the cook attached to the deceased officer’s quarters.

With the clearing of the suspects from the case, the investigation has come to an end, said ADG, Crime Branch, Sanjeev Panda while addressing a press meet on Friday.

Panda said, “A team of Crime Branch visited the spot multiple times and questioned many witnesses on multiple occasions.”

As per Panda, the Crime Branch analysed the forensic report, post mortem report, the CDR analysis of the deceased and his wife Bidyabharati, the polygraph test report of the suspects, the handwriting and psychological analysis of the diary and the statements made by witnesses, before arriving at the conclusion. “All the reports and analysis have proved that the government quarters where the body was recovered was indeed the place of his (Soumya’s) death,” he said.

Seeking to give clean chit to Sangram Behera and the cook Kumbha, Panda said, “As far as Sangram Behera and the cook are concerned, they have not been found to have any links with either Vidyabharati or the death of Soumya.”

Though the Crime Branch had begun the probe taking the death of Soumya as a murder, later, after examining all the evidence and statement of witnesses, nothing was found to corroborate their earlier angle of probe of it being a homicidal death.

A press release issued by the Crime Branch states, “The investigation also looked deeply into the possibility of suicide but it failed to gather any significant evidence in this regard. Rather the dying declaration of Soumyaranjan and the psychological analysis of the contents of his diary along with other circumstantial evidence clearly prove that Soumya was in deep love with his wife and wanted to live a happy conjugal life at all cost. So the possibility of suicide has been ruled out during investigation.”

It was an accidental death which occurred while Soumya was burning some papers by pouring kerosene on them. The kerosene got poured on his body accidentally and the fire caught it causing his death, said Panda.