Odisha District Education Officer Arrested For Abetting Teacher’s Suicide

Jeypore: A special squad of police on Friday arrested Koraput District Education Officer (DEO) Pramod Panda on charges of abetting Chittaranjan Panda’s suicide.

Chittaranjan, a teacher, was found hanging at the DEO’s residence on December 8 last year and police had recovered a handwritten suicide note in which he had accused the latter and seven others of mentally torturing and blackmailing him.

The science teacher was working in Chikambo High School under Dasmantpur block and was on deputation to Koraput DEO for five years.

On December 23,  a teacher Abhimanyu Pradhan and another person Sameer Ranjan Patra were arrested in connection with the case.

According to police sources, Abhimanyu stole some files of Adarsh Vidyalaya Scheme with help of another DEO staffer after his tender for hiring of vehicles in the DEO was rejected and started blackmailing Chittaranjan with help of Sameer, a journalist, who sought information about the scheme under RTI Act. The teacher had even paid the scribe several times requesting him not to seek information about the files.

DEO staffer also started harassing Chittaranjan over the missing files and other official matters. The DEO had allegedly received gifts from the teacher to protect him over the missing files, the sources added.

While Chittaranjan had blamed seven persons in his suicide note, police later found involvement of more than 10 persons in the crime.

Sunabeda SDPO Niranjan Behera had earlier said that they had enough evidence as all the calls of the accused were recorded in the teacher’s cellphone.

Notably, Pramod had earlier denied any knowledge about the files being stolen from his office.

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