Vikash Sharma

News Highlights

  • The case has been transferred to the Crime Branch following the direction of the Director General (DG) Of Police, Abhay.

The Odisha Crime Branch has finally taken over the investigation into the mysterious death of Paralakhemundi Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Soumya Ranjan Mohapatra amid the intensifying demand for a high-level enquiry into the case by an independent central probe agency or CBI.

Crime Branch ADG, Sanjeev Panda on Saturday said that the case has been transferred to the CB following the direction of the Director General (DG) Of Police, Abhay.

A three-member team led by a DSP rank officer has been constituted to conduct a detailed probe into the forest official's death, said Panda.

It is pertinent to mention here that the deceased ACF Soumya Ranjan was found with around 90 per cent burn injuries at his official quarters at Paralakhemundi on the night of July 11, 2021.

Later, he succumbed to the injuries at a private hospital in Cuttack on July 13.

Though the post-mortem report of the deceased ACF later pointed that the young OFS officer had died of burn injuries, his family members disputed the claims alleging foul play in the death of Soumya Ranjan.

Earlier, based on an online complaint by the family members of the deceased ACF, a murder case was filed against three persons including the deceased's widow Bidyabharati Panda, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Sangram Behera and the late ACF's cook Manmath Kumbh.

Paralakhemundi Police has already given a clean chit to Gajapati DFO Sangram Keshari Behera in the alleged murder case.

A social organisation, Bharat Vikas Parishad had filed a PIL in Orissa High Court on July 27 seeking a CBI probe into the incident. The Union Home Secretary, State Chief Secretary, State Home Secretary, State Director General of Police (DGP) as well as the Gajapati SP and Paralakhemundi Police Station IIC were made respondents in the matter.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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