Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Amidst the ongoing controversy surrounding the death of BJD Zilla Parishad member Dharmendra Sahoo, School and Mass Education Department Minister Samir Ranjan Dash on Sunday stated that the opposition should refrain from playing politics over the dead.

Dash is now in the target of the opposition parties as they are alleging the minister's involvement in the case and demanding an impartial probe.

“I am shocked as the incident occurred under my Zilla Parishad zone. I have paid tribute to the departed soul. The allegations of the Opposition on my involvement in the incident are baseless. They are trying to play politics over dead,” said Dash during the BJD Padyatra in Nimapada area.

“They  (opposition) don’t have any relationship with people. They didn’t come near the people to extend their helping hands during the Covid times. People don’t trust them and care about their false allegations,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, the Commissionerate police intensified the ongoing probe in connection with the viral audio clip of the deceased Zilla Parishad member

Journalist Akshay Nayak has been questioned in this regard at the Bhubaneswar DCP office in Bhubaneswar. Earlier, the Commissionerate Police had issued a notice asking Nayak to depose in the case.

Sahoo reportedly spoke to the journalist for over an hour and named as many as seven persons, including minister Dash, for allegedly abetting his death by suicide. The BJP had released the audio at a presser on September 28. 

“The entire Odisha is eager to know the truth behind Dharmendra’s death. I will extend full cooperation to the police in its investigation. I will provide all the information that I have in my knowledge,” said Nayak.

Meanwhile, Nayak's mobile phone has been seized by Commissionerate Police for examining call records, sources said.

(Reported by Sanjay Pati)