Itishree murder case: CBI grills ex headmaster of school

Bhubaneswar: Intensifying its probe into the sensational Itishree Pradhan murder case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday interrogated Chandra Sekhar Panda, the then head master of the Tikiri upper primary school where she served as a teacher before her death.

On April 26, the Rayagada District and Sessions Court awarded a life term to prime accused and the then Inspector of Schools (SI) Netrananda Dandasena in the case.

The court pronounced the much awaited verdict on the basis of the charge sheet filed by the Crime Branch of Odisha Police. The hearing of the case ended on April 4.

Itishree Pradhan was set ablaze after pouring kerosene on her in the premises of the school, where she was staying in a room, on October 27, 2013. She succumbed to her injuries while undergoing treatment in a Vizag hospital on November 1, 2013.

The State government had ordered a crime branch probe into the death on November 2, 2013 following an uproar over the issue.

Born in Puri, Pradhan was working at the Tikiri upper primary school on contractual basis on a monthly salary of Rs 4000. During her initial period of posting, she had found it difficult to live there. The then SI Dandasena had assured her of every help but had sought sexual favors which she had opposed strongly.

The lady teacher’s ordeal started after she lodged an FIR against Dandasena at the Tikiri police station. She was constantly pressurised to withdraw the complaint.

The CBI is investigating the lady teacher murder case following a Supreme Court directive in January 2015 while hearing a PIL filed by Bangalore-based Odia law graduate Sudipta Lenka.