Bhubaneswar: Even as three weeks have passed since the death of Paralakhemundi Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Saumya Ranjan Mohapatra, the police are yet to get any lead in the case. Unhappy with the tardy pace of the police investigation and demanding the Orissa High Court-monitored SIT probe or a CBI probe into the case, family members of the deceased forest officer today knocked the doors of the Chief Minister’s Grievance Cell in Bhubaneswar.
Outside the CM’s Grievance Cell, Saumya Ranjan’s cousin Manas Ranjan Padhi alleged Gajapati Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Sangram Keshari Behera has been in touch with Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha to influence the police probe into the ACF death case.
Padhi added the Gurundi police station Officer In-Charge (OIC) Mamata Panda’s involvement in the case also raises suspicion. “From the beginning the accused has been trying to hush up the matter,” he claimed.
The Paralakhemundi ACF was rescued in a half-charred condition at his government quarters on July 12. He succumbed to burn injuries while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Cuttack on July 13.
Family members of Saumya Ranjan had been accusing the ACF’s wife Bidyabharati Panda, Gajapati DFO Sangram Keshari Behera and a cook of murdering him.
A case under section 302 and 120 (b) has been registered at Paralakhemundi police station.