Mrunal Manmay Dash

Amid allegations of his links with the prime accused in the murder of Sunshine Public School lady teacher Mamita Meher, the Minister of State (Home) Dibya Shankar Mishra on Wednesday claimed that he has never been to the school at Mahaling in Kalahandi district.

Speaking to reporters, Mishra said, “I have served in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot. I am a law abiding citizen and I would never do such a thing.”

Clarifying his association with Mahaling, Mishra said that he is the president of the governing body of Mahaling College and the prime accused, Gobinda Sahu happened to be a member of that body. 

“Just because I represent this Assembly Constituency, I cannot be held responsible for a murder that I am not a part of,” said Mishra.

Terming the agitation by the Opposition against him as a political conspiracy, Mishra said that the law will take its own course and the culprit will never be allowed to go scot free.

Meanwhile, the Congress party has called upon Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra to form a judicial probe panel. Lambasting Mishra as telling blatant lies, Congress Spokesperson, Padmakar Guru said, "If he is innocent then why was he hiding from the media till now. He should prove his innocence by appearing before a judicial committee and put his facts straight."

It is pertinent to mention here that Mishra’s family had filed defamation suits against the State’s leading media house, Odisha Television Limited (OTV), digital media platform Odisha Reporter (OR) and another private Odia news channel terming it a malicious smear campaign against him.

The Minister’s clarification comes in the backdrop of widespread protests across the State over his alleged links with the key accused in the case, Gobinda Sahu, president of Sunshine English Medium School at Mahaling in Kalahandi district where the deceased worked as a teacher.

Following allegation levelled by the family of the deceased about the Minister’s involvement in the crime, Opposition Congress and BJP have been staging all out protest across the State demanding the immediate expulsion of the Minister from the State cabinet and his arrest in order to ensure fairness in the probe.