Paralakhemundi: While mystery continues to shroud the death of Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Soumya Ranjan Mohapatra, the Crime Branch on Saturday said Gajapati DFO Sangram Keshari Behera and ACF’s Bidyabharati Panda will be made to undergo the lie detection test if required.
Briefing the mediapersons after a three-hour grilling of the DFO, Crime Branch DSP Gyana Ranjan Mishra said that he had admitted to being present in the district headquarters hospital (DHH) on July 12 when the dying declaration of the deceased officer was recorded.
“The DFO, however, claimed that had no clue about what the doctors were writing,” he added.
A video in which the DFO can be seen at the hospital had gone viral on Friday.
On the night of July 12, Soumya was rescued with over 90 per cent burn injuries and was admitted to the DHH where his dying statement was recorded. He was then shifted to a private hospital in Cuttack where he succumbed the following day.
This is in contradiction to Behera’s statement to the media that he was not present with the ACF while his dying declaration was being recorded. The DFO was hounded by reporters after the interrogation and he was seen losing his cool over the questions shot at him.
The DSP further said that Behera denied having harassed the deceased ACF by giving him extra work and assigning night duty, as alleged by the family members of the deceased officer.
“We will crosscheck the statement of the DFO in this regard during the verification of the duty hours of the ACF,” he said.
Mishra added that the Crime Branch will trace the WhatsApp call detail records between the DFO and Bidyabharati from the mobile phone of the latter which the local police had seized earlier.
Refusing to divulge further details, he said, “We are questioning the witnesses and recording their statement. We will analyse the statements and go ahead with our investigation,” he pointed out.
Notably, the family members of Soumya had named the DFO in the FIR, alleging that he and the ACF’s wife Bidyabharati Panda were behind his death. They also accused the DFO of having an illicit relationship with Bidyabharati.
Watch the video here: