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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Even as mystery still shrouds the death of Haridaspur Panchayat Executive Officer (PEO) Smitarani Biswal, opposition parties today tried to corner the Odisha government by raking the up the issue and demanding discussion in Odisha Assembly.

With allegations of foul play in Smitarani's death, the focus is back on the guesthouse or the ‘Rangashala’ where the lady panchayat executive officer’s body was recovered.

Government records, the copy of which is in the possession of OTV, clearly highlight that the Rangashala (plot no-109), which was ‘illegally' constructed on 23 decimal out of 43 decimal of government land, is registered to be in the possession of Rakesh Bhadra, the brother of the key accused Ramesh Bhadra.

After the matter came to light, a fine of Rs 2,760 was slapped on Rakesh on March 21, 2018 and eviction order was also passed. The concerned Revenue Inspector submitted a report to Tehsildar on March 26 stating that the encroacher, Rakesh Bhadra has already vacated it and urged for closure of the case.

Later, Dharmasala Tehsildar closed the case on March 31, 2018.

“Government’s duty is to clear encroachments and bring all the land & property on government land under possession. It seems that all the officials including amin and revenue officials were all part of the conspiracy,” said advocate, Siddharth Das.

Such discrepancies raise questions if the concerned Rangashala was evicted, how it came under the possession of Rakesh Bhadra and whether the eviction was limited to pen and paper only?

Meanwhile, both Congress and BJP leaders targeted Odisha government over such lapses and questioned on whose instructions the Rangashala was allowed to operate despite eviction order.

Congress MLA Mohammad Moquim said, “We will not allow the assembly to function till we get concrete answers on it.”

Leader of Opposition, Bishnu Sethi said, “From local leaders, babus, police officials and others are involved in this.”

BJD MLA Pramila Mallick refused to comment on the allegations levelled by opposition parties.

“As I am not aware of the house whether it was vacated or not, I cannot comment on it,” said Mallick.

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