Odisha Assistant Collector’s Death: Brother Cries Murder, Seeks Probe Into Officers’ Role

Rourkela: The allegation of family members of assistant collector Sushmita Minz, whose body was found in a pond of a newly constructed sensory park here on September 19 evening, that she was under mental pressure at the workplace has added to the mystery shrouding her death.

Her brother Sandip Minz, in a written complaint to the Plant Site police, sought an investigation against Sundargarh Collector, Rourkela ADM, Gurundia block development officer (BDO), Gurundia child development project officer and a woman sub-inspector over the matter.

He claimed she was depressed due to intense workplace pressure and when he contacted her repeatedly on September 16, she sent a text message saying she would not be able to return home due to an office meeting. A worried Sandip reached the ADM office late in the evening but found it locked. She had gone to Sundargarh to attend an administrative level meeting.

The following afternoon, Gurundia BDO and another officer landed at their home at Ramabahal in Rajgangpur and told that they were instructed by the collector to inform them that Sushmita seemed mentally unstable.

Concerned about her sister’s whereabouts, he lodged a missing complaint at Uditnagar police station on September 19. Sushmita was found in a hotel that night but she refused to return home with Sandip. The Uditnagar IIC then assured of her safety and return later.

A senior police officer, however, was quoted as saying that the deceased had given written and audio-visual statements to police, saying that she did not like the environment at home and police had no authority to force her.

The family was informed about her death, the following morning.

Since she was engaged in the land acquisition section, Sandip suspected she might have knowledge of some unwanted secrets of officers. He also contradicted police claims of no injury marks on the body of her sister. There were cut marks on both hands, scratches on her neck and leg and burn-like injuries on her back, he alleged.

Sushmita’s mother Celestina made the same claims and termed it as murder and not suicide.

“Investigation into the matter is on,” said IIC of Plant Site police station J R Pati said.

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