Pradeep Pattanayak

At a time when the mystery shrouding the death of woman cricketer Rajashree Swain is deepening further, the political climate is heating up with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday targeting the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) and the Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera. 

Targeting the Sports Minister, BJP Mahila Morcha President Smruti Patnaik at a presser held at the State party office in Bhubaneswar said, “Since Rajashree’s parents belong to the Minister’s Panchayat, they had contacted him and sought his help. But instead of doing anything for the worried parents, he simply avoided them telling them he was busy with Hockey World Cup.”

“From this, it can well be understood that the government is an anti-women government,” Patnaik alleged. 

“It is strange that the woman cricketer went missing for two days but the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) neither registered a missing report nor informed her parents about their daughter’s disappearance,” she further stated. 

“The manager of Rajashree’s team should come to the fore. All should know about the person who was taking care of the cricketers in the hotel,” she added. 

Meanwhile, Gurudijhatia police have intensified the investigation. A team led by Athagarh SDPO and Gurudijhatia IIC had visited the deceased cricketer’s village and quizzed her family members yesterday. During their visit, they recovered a diary from her house. It is said that the police will match the handwriting in the diary with that in the suicide note. The police said the post-mortem and viscera reports will help them ascertain the cause of the death.  

Alleging murder, Prashant Karan, a relative of the deceased woman cricketer, said, “After being excluded from the team, she might have said something hard to them. Going to teach her a lesson, they murdered her and then hanged her body to pass it off as a suicide case.” 

The 26-year-old woman cricketer had gone missing on January 11 and her hanging body was found in a deep forest on January 13.

(Reported by Soumya Ranjan Sahoo)