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Ramakanta Biswas

Even as the police are yet to unravel the truth behind the death of Paralakhemundi Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) Soumya Ranjan Mohapatra, one of his relatives on Wednesday brought serious allegations against a State Minister in the case. 

Deceased ACF’s cousin Manas Ranjan Padhi, who moved the Chief Minister’s grievance cell today, alleged that he had heard Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh putting pressure in the case.  

“Reports are doing the rounds that the forest minister is putting undue pressure in the case as the DFO as well as the Gurandi Police Station OIC are relatives of the minister,” he alleged.

“After my brother sustained burn injuries, his wife should have informed us first. Instead, she called up Gurandi Police Station OIC, Mamata Panda. Because, a plan was made to cover up the case,” he added. 

Padhi said the family members are not happy even if the police have registered case under serious offence and inquiring into the matter, because there is no noteworthy progress in the case even as one month has passed.  Already Paralakhemundi Police Team Quizzes Bidyabharati.

Raising doubt over the police probe, the family of the deceased forest officer has demanded an investigation by the Orissa High Court-monitored special investigation team (SIT) or CBI.

OTV contacted the forest minister to know his reaction to the allegations of the deceased’s cousin. The minister said he was on a visit to his home constituency and will comment after returning to Bhubaneswar.  

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