Amid the many twists and turns in the case involving the mysterious death of Paralakhemundi Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) Soumya Ranjan Mohapatra, the Crime Branch on Thursday claimed that circumstantial evidence gathered so far points at a fire mishap at the government quarters of the deceased officer.
The Crime Branch, along with team from the local police, today carried out searches at the government quarters, where Soumya Ranjan lived with his wife Bidya Bharati, and gathered evidence to establish the exact circumstances leading to the death of the ACF in an alleged fire mishap.
"We examined the circumstances in the quarters in the presence of the IIC, investigating officer and SDPO and found remains of some half-burnt items. The backdoor of the quarters and mosquito net had caught fire. We have collected these items as evidence and concluded that the fire incident had occurred inside the quarters," said Crime Branch DSP Bijay Mallick.
Asked about the questioning of Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Sangram Keshari Behera and OIC of Gurandi police station Mamata Panda, Mallick said all those linked to the case will be interrogated.
Earlier, Soumya Ranjan’s father’s lawyer Parthasarathi Nayak had claimed that the scientific team did not find any concrete evidence to prove that the fire incident occurred in the quarters. “The quarters was opened in the presence of police, an executive magistrate and a scientific team using a key that was in possession of the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO). The circumstantial evidence in the house indicates that no fire had occurred inside it,” he had said.
Meanwhile, deceased Soumya Ranjan's brother said his family has complete faith in the police investigation.
"As the Crime Branch and police team are inquiring into the case, we are hopeful of getting justice. If we do not get justice we will move higher authorities," he said.