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A year on, Parala deaths still a mystery

Paralakhemundi/Bhubaneswar: Even as one year has elapsed since the death of Paralakhemundi royal palace manager Ananga Manjari Patra and her three siblings, reason of their death is still shrouded in mystery. The Odisha Crime Branch which is probing the case is yet to make a breakthrough in the case.

Dead bodies of Ananga, her sister Bijaylaxmi and brothers Sanjay (personal assistant of Gajapati king Gopinath Narayan Deo) and Santosh were found from their house at Jangam Sahi, about one km from the royal palace, in Paralakhemundi on August 21 last year.

The incident took place days after reports came to fore stating that king Gopinath Gajapati, a former MP, was kept under house arrest and was not allowed to meet anyone. The king’s manager Anang came under lens following allegation of king’s house arrest. Later, controversy over misappropriation of royal properties involving the manager also came to light making the entire episode critical.

Though police had suspected they committed suicide, relatives of the deceased lodged complaint against local MLA, a particular TV channel and 12 others holding them responsible for the deaths.

Later, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik ordered a Crime Branch inquiry into the incident and the alleged financial misappropriations of royal properties.

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