The family members of Soumyaranjan Mohapatra, the Assistant Conservator of Forest Officer (ACFO) of Paralakhemundi in Gajapati district who succumbed to burn injuries today, have accused his wife of killing Mohapatra.
Mohapatra was rescued in a half-burnt condition from his official residence yesterday following which he was admitted to the MKCG hospital in Berhampur. He was later shifted to SCB Cuttack after his condition deteriorated. However, he died during treatment at the hospital today.
While police have already launched an investigation to determine whether it was a suicide or fire mishap, Mohapatra's family members have suspected foul play alleging involvement of the ACFO's wife in the tragic death.
"I am suspecting the involvement of my daughter-in-law because there were only two of them in the house when the incident occurred. They had come home during Raja and left together. They had said that they were happy. I last talked to my son the day before yesterday," said Abhiram, father of the deceased officer.
He further said that though her daughter-in-law informed him about Mohapatra having been injured in a fire mishap, she feigned ignorance on being asked about the circumstances leading to the fire in which the ACFO was trapped.
"He (the deceased ACFO) had once spoken to his aunt and mother over phone before Raja. He had told them that his wife was torturing him. However, neither his aunt nor did his mother inform me or his father about it," claimed Sitikantha Panda, maternal uncle of Mohapatra.
Panda alleged that the ACFO's wife was behind the death of his nephew. "When I asked her in the hospital how it all happened, she told me that she had gone to bring rice only to find him (Mohapatra) on fire on her return. She even denied any fight with him before the incident," he added.