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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The mysterious death case of Paralakhemundi Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) Soumya Ranjan Mohapatra has a new twist in the tail with the father-in-law of Gurandi police station OIC Mamata Panda confirming that the lady cop and deceased’s wife Bidya Bharati Panda are familiar to each other.

Gurandi police station OIC's role has come under the scanner for reportedly intercepting an ambulance carrying critically injured Soumya Ranjan to the hospital.

“Mamata belongs to same village where Bidya Bharati’s maternal uncle lives. Bidya Bharati used to visit her uncle’s house and both become acquaintance. Bidya Bharati might have asked Mamata for help on the day when Soumya Ranjan was being shifted to a hospital,” said Narendra Padhi, the father-in-law of Mamata.

Earlier on Wednesday, Gajapati SP Tapan Patnaik had said that OIC Mamata will be questioned in connection with the death of the ACF.

“The woman police officer will be questioned over the circumstances under which the ambulance was stopped and if she had any role to play in the interception of the ambulance,” Patnaik had said.

“There was no departmental instruction for her to go to the spot. So we will question the reason and circumstances that warranted her visit the spot and intercept the ambulance carrying the victim without any instruction from the department,” he added.

Apart from the OIC, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Gajapati, Sangram Keshari Behera will also be questioned today.

The DFO has been named an accused in the murder case filed on the basis of an online complaint made by the deceased’s father Abhiram Mohapatra. The other accused named in the FIR are the widow of the young forest officer and his cook.

(Edited by Ramakant Biswas)

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