New Twist In Odisha ACF’s Death: Crime Branch Finds Evidence Of Fire In Official Quarters

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Paralakhemundi: Contradicting the findings of the foreinsic team, the Crime Branch on Thursday said circumstantial evidence suggested that Paralakhemundi Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Soumya Ranjan Mohapatra had sustained burn injuries in his official quarters.

On July 17, the forensic team had reportedly found no evidence that could back the fire mishap theory, leading to his death. Lawyer of Soumya’s father Parthasarathi Nayak told the media that there were no signs of damaged or gutted property and no traces of inflammable objects that could lead to the purported fatal fire mishap. Police had then declined to divulge the details.

Read here: No Evidence To Suggest Odisha Forest Officer Caught Fire In Official Residence

Briefing the media after inspecting the quarters, Crime Branch DSP Bijay Kumar Mallick, however, said that there were burnt marks on a portion of the backdoor of the house and a mosquito net.

The inspection of the residence has been videographed, he added.

The DSP further said that the Crime Branch is tracing the call details of the ACF, his wife Bidyabharati Panda and the DFO Sangram Behera. “After examining the call details, the persons whose names have figured in the complaint will be interrogated,” he said.

Earlier, a team of Paralakhemundi Police had grilled the deceased’s wife Bidyabharati at her residence in Mayurbhanj district.

Bidyabharati and DFO came under the police scanner after Soumya’s father lodged a complaint, alleging that the fire incident was a ‘pre-planned murder’ and pointed accusing fingers at the duo.

On July 12, the ACF was rescued from his official quarters with over 90 per cent burns and he succumbed to the injuries at a private hospital in Cuttack a day later.

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