Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: Haridaspur panchayat executive officer (PEO) Smitarani Biswal's death that recently created an upheaval in the Winter Session of Odisha Assembly has once again stoked a political row with both BJP and ruling-BJD trading blows.

Odisha BJP secretary Lekhashree Samantsinghar today alleged involvement of RAMCO Cements' staff in the death of the lady PEO and said that as Smitarani didn't cooperate with the company and BJD leaders in carrying out illegal activities in the region, she was 'brutally murdered'.

"Odisha government had allotted 152 acre land to RAMCO to set up a cement factory, but the company encroached upon hundreds of acres of land in Haridaspur. Smitarani was under pressure to legalise the encroached land. BJD leaders, district administration and RAMCO staff together killed the PEO," alleged Samantsinghar while daring Odisha government to order a CBI probe into the incident.

Hitting out at the BJP leader, BJD spokesperson Sulata Deo said that there is no uniformity in the statements of Samantsinghar and the saffron party should stop politicising such a sensitive issue.

"The lady PEO's death is a very sensitive issue, but the BJP is politicising it. Lekhashree is cooking up stories," said Deo.