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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: As outcry against government inaction in the Smitarani Biswal death case intensifies, the Chairperson of the State Commission for Women, Minati Behera today expressed her unhappiness over the probe and requested the Crime Branch to take over the investigation.

Minati Behera's comments came after the BJP Mahila Morcha today staged a demonstration in front of the commission's office demanding her resignation over lapses in probe.

The BJP Mahila Morcha gheraoed the commission's office today and in the process engaged in a scuffle with police too.

Speaking to the media, Minati said, “The Commission visited the spot twice to assess the situation and spoke to every party related to the incident. However, we are dissatisfied with the investigation so far, so we have written a letter to the Crime Branch to take over the probe.”

Replying to OTV’s query on Jajpur SP Charan Singh Meena’s comments on Smitarani’s illicit affair with arrested Rupesh Bhadra, the husband of the Haridaspur Sarpanch, Minati said, “The comment by SP Meena is inappropriate and he shouldn’t have said that without proof.”

It is learnt that the sarpanch was just acting as a rubber stamp and it was her husband Rupesh who actually took all the decisions in the Panchayat.

One villager said, “I don’t know the sarpanch. The only person I know is Rupesh who distributes old age pension and takes all the major decisions concerning the Panchayat.”

Sources said, on the fateful day, Rupesh went to distribute pension money in a car with Smitarani as usual and after some hours she was found dead in his guest house which has now been sealed by the police.

Smita’s father Sadanand Biswal questioned Rupesh’s activity and said, “He called me at around 2:35 PM to inform me that my daughter hanged herself. I reached hospital as soon as possible and found that Smitarani was dead.”

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