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Mrunal Manmay Dash

The death of Lalit Kumar Sahu, who worked as a cook in the Jharsuguda residence of Odisha health minister Naba Das is gradually snowballing into a larger political storm after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleged that the death in all probability was a murder.

Following the recovery of Sahu’s body on Sunday afternoon from Das’s residence at Jharsuguda, the local police conducted the autopsy in the night and handed over the body to his family at Dengaborai under Dhenkanal’s Hindol block which was questioned by BJP leader Tankadhar Tripathy on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference at Jharsuguda, Tripathy alleged, “The rules of the government state that unless there is a law and order situation after a death, the autopsy cannot be done at night. The police should wait till the morning to conduct the same.”

“However, the way the police swiftly took the body from the spot and conducted the autopsy in a haste in the dead of the night, raises serious concern over their intentions. It reeks of a conspiracy.” he said.

Meanwhile, BJP leader Anjali Behera, who went to visit the family of the deceased at Hindol, alleged that the driver of minister Naba Das misbehaved with her and did not allow her to speak with the family of Sahu.

Behera told reporters, “The way minister Naba Das’s driver obstructed me from interacting with Sahu’s family, I suspect that this is a murder and we cannot rule out Naba Das’s hand behind it.”

“There are other factors to be taken into account like large transactions in Sahu’s bank account just before his death. And especially the handling of his body by the police with the quick night autopsy can be linked to a cover-up,” she alleged.

It is pertinent to mention here that, Sahu’s body was found hanging in Naba Das’s residence on April 17 (Sunday) in mysterious circumstances. The police conducted the post mortem of the body in the night and sent the body to the family in Dhenkanal on Monday morning.

Sahu had been working at Das’s residence for one year. His brother, Biranchi Sahu who works at a private company in the western Odisha town, was also staying with him at Das’ residence.

No comments could be obtained from the police in this connection and Das was not available to receive OTV’s phone call for comments.

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