Mrunal Manmay Dash

Trouble mounted for former Odisha Minister and sitting Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA Sameer Ranjan Dash after a PIL was filed in the Orissa High Court against him in the much-hyped Dharmendra Sahu death case.

The petition was filed by Dharmendra Sahu’s friend Akshay Nayak.

Nayak has demanded inclusion of Sameer Dash’s name in the police FIR. The police have allegedly been reluctant to do so since Dharmendra Sahu’s death. He alleged that the police are under pressure from the MLA and the ruling party to not involve Dash in the case.

Speaking about the PIL, petitioner’s lawyer Prafulla Sahu said, “We will proceed further as per the High Court order. We have filed the PIL against the Police Commissioner as well,” Sahu said.

“We want Sameer Dash’s name in the FIR first. Let the police probe him. He should not fear the probe if he is innocent. We have submitted all the evidence to the court. The PIL has been filed according to his statements in the recording,” said Prafulla Sahu.

BJD leader Dharmendra Sahu was found hanging in his residence in Sishupalgarh area on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar in September 2022. He was a member of ZP Zone 11 in Nimapada.

On the other hand, post-mortem report of Sahu revealed that the leader died due to asphyxiation. The body of Sahu had no injury marks. It was a suicidal hanging which means asphyxiation occurred due to hanging, said Capital Hospital director. The report confirmed that the death was due to suicide.

BJP had released an audio clip of deceased ZP member Dharmendra Sahoo in September 2022 wherein the deceased can be heard saying that 'for Minister Samir Ranjan Dash, he would end his life'. During the purported telephonic conversation, Sahu named seven persons including Minister Dash, his wife and father-in-law as responsible for him taking the extreme step.