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Politics Hots Up Over Malkangiri Collector’s Transfer Over PA Death Case

Bhubaneswar: The controversy surrounding the former Malkangiri Collector- Manish Agarwal over the death of his Personal Assistant (PA) Debnarayan Panda has taken a political turn after the State government transferred him to Bhubaneswar a day after he was booked on charges of murder.

While BJP has termed his transfer to Bhubaneswar has been termed as a reward instead of punishment, Congress has demanded his suspension.

“It seems that he was rewarded by the government with his transfer from Malkangiri to State Capital. We condemned such decision of the government. He should be arrested immediately and taken into custody as the SDJM court has slapped section 302 against him,” BJP state general secretary Lekhasri Samantsinghar said.

Congress leader and former MP Pradeep Majhi demanded the suspension of the officer. “A transfer of an accused cannot be considered as a punishment. He should be suspended from his position. Otherwise, he may influence the investigation. Because, police have allegedly tried to destroy evidence and accordingly the court has slapped the sections of IPC,” Majhi said.
BJD, on the other hand, said that law will take its own course. “The police are investigating the case on a priority basis. Whoever he/she may be, will be punished by the court of law if found guilty. Law will take its own course”, BJD leader Manas Madkami said.

Meanwhile, wife of the deceased Debnarayan Panda, Banaja on Monday moved the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC), apprehending destruction of evidences by the State investigating agency. She appealed to the Commission to transfer four senior police officers including Malkangiri SP to outside the district as attempts are made to divert the case as suicide.

The State government on Monday replaced Manish Agarwal with Y Vijay as the new Collector of Malkangiri district. The move came a day after he was booked on charges of murdering his PA, following an order issued by the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate court.

Manish Agarwal has been shifted to the Planning and Convergence Department as the Deputy Commissioner.
Last year on December 27, Debnarayan went missing under mysterious circumstances and the very next day his body was recovered from Satiguda dam. His motorcycle and helmet were found lying near the dam.

Hearing the plea of deceased Panda’s family, the court directed police to book Agarwal and four of his associates.

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