Strange: A Four Months Old High Profile Murder Mystery Tossed Into The Air Of Disbelief! Pre-indisposed Probe?

  • | Monday | 6th December, 2021


‘Law will take its own course’ is the usual buzz that comes from the chief minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik. But, in reality, several flaws and failures have proved it otherwise, sometimes. Odisha police seems to have failed by miles in one case as old as three months, where the accused are giving a slip to the law.

It is the suspected murder/ suicide of an IFS, Soumya Ranjan Mohapatra, Assistant Conservator of Forest posted in Paralakhemudi in Odisha. What has deepened the ambiguity is the nature of the death and the investigating team is left with hardly any escape route but to hush it up. 

Became  Mystery, And Remains So

The moot question is whether he was killed or he committed suicide. The State Crime Branch has closed the case as an accident!

“ We have closed the case and filed the charge sheet. The wife of the deceased Bidya Bharati was found responsible for not making enough efforts to douse the fire” said Sanjiv Panda, Additional Director General Of Police, State Crime Branch. “It was an act of omission, under Sector 34 A of the Negligence of Omission of the IPC ``, Panda added.

And he further said that “it was purely accidental that the deceased was caught by fire while trying to burn some obsolete papers, not suicide”. While he was using kerosene to burn the unnecessary papers, when the kerosene fell on him and he was in flames” the top cop said and went on that, they have enough scientific evidence in support of their findings and a dying video statement of the deceased officer.

Island Of Confusion

Be it his wife Vidya Bharati Panda or the Divisional Forest Officer of Parlakhemudi, Sangram K Behera, have come within the domains of suspicion. There were rumors regarding an alleged affair between Behera and Vidya Bharati which triggered such a situation.  

Somewhere and somehow, the investigating team finds itself in an island of confusion created by circumstances or spun out of pre-indisposed intents behind the entire exercise to save someone or to see someone to be the scapegoat.

When an incident of crime gets a political undertone, then the investigation becomes faltering and in the above case as well, maybe, some truths and lies have been tactfully embroidered to confuse the entire process.

The reasons are rumored to be the role of some politician whose role influences the course of the probe. Who was trying to protect the DFO from day one?

In the present situation, and drawing inferences from many turns and twists, since the last three months, it once appeared that the investigation had already derailed and for the bereaved family of the deceased ACP, the court is the last recourse. And they have gone to the Orissa High Court.

Three months is a huge space that could have helped the destruction of evidence relating to the ACP’s death although the media, even, is not yet in a position to make any sweeping deduction on the role of the investigating team of the State Crime Branch.  

Wife Was A Mere Onlooker To Hubby Dying In Flames!

A recall of this incident about three months back seemed shrouded in a mystery. And two probes, one by the local police and then by the Crime Branch(CB) have further confounded the confusion.

It was stated after the initial probe that the deceased was found by his wife while in flames and burning, and she was the only one who was a witness to the incident. But she never tried to douse the fire for reasons best known to her. But the CB has understood it as an act of “omission” and not commission.

Subsequently, it was established that the deceased ACP had sustained 90% burnt injury and it was also stated by the local police that, in that condition, even Mohapatra had given a statement. A further probe by the CB has revealed that Vidya Bharati had not made sufficient efforts to douse the fire, which led to her husband getting burnt alive to death.

This means that the wife was understandably unsympathetic towards what was happening when her husband was dying in flames! What could be the reason behind such an uncompassionate act by the wife, the probe has not been able to bring out a plausible reason from Vidya Bharati. Secondly, can a man with 90% burnt injury ever make a statement which has been made later to be a dying statement to purportedly give it an accidental angle by the local police.

If the ACP was engulfed by the fire inside the house, then there should have been evidence to post such a horrifying incident. But, there had been none, perhaps! “ Yes, there were traces of carbon on some walls and other spots “ quipped the ADGP, CB.

Why Kerosene To Burn Papers!   

The question also hangs about that, why the deceased was trying to burn the papers inside a living room and was there any need of kerosene to burn some dry papers?     

Going by the versions of the family of the deceased, the Divisional Forest Officer of Paralakhumudi, Sangram K Behera, had an alleged illicit affair with the wife of the deceased which remained to be the main reason behind the entire episode which led to the ACP’s death.

The family has alleged that the DFO was one of the main conspirators along with Vidya Bharati who together had designed the plot for the killing of Mohapatra. Since the latter had come to know about the relationship between his wife and the DFO, he fell target to the design. But the CB dismisses any such extramarital angle that the deceased’s wife and the said DFO had an affair.

“ We have made all that is required to find out if there was any such affair but there was no evidence at all” said the ADGP, CB.

Interestingly the probe by the local police and the CB has given the clean chit to the DFO. First by the local Superintendent of Police, Parlakhemudi and then by the investigating CB team the DFO was quizzed and was absolved of any involvement.

“ We have found no such evidence to say that there was any such relationship between the DFO and Bidyabharati” said the ADGP, CB

Under no circumstances a wife can watch her husband singe to death in fire and raise no alarm. Until and unless it was a coldblooded design. The main question is, how could the wife of the deceased be a mere onlooker to the scene when her husband was in flames and burning alive?

Was there anything other than what is being said about the ‘omission’ committed by the wife.

Why did the deceased choose to burn papers etc inside a living room?

Why was he using Kerosene(as per the CB findings) to burn some papers?

Why didn’t the wife raise an alarm and seek help from others in the house?

No wife or anyone in such a situation can be an onlooker merely, until and unless she was part of a design purportedly made for such an end.      

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