Bhubaneswar: Even as the accused in the much talked about Ramadevi Women’s University student Jharaphula Nayak death case has been arrested, several unanswered questions continue to keep the matter mysterious.
The girl had gone to Bhubaneswar from her village Marundeipasi under Jashipur police limits in Mayurbhanj district on January 24 to attend birthday function of daughter of her teacher Chakradhar Sir. The event was held on January 25. On January 26 around 11 am, Chakradhar Sir dropped her at Jaydev Vihar square, where she boarded a private bus to return to the village.
The sequence of events that reportedly took place after this have posed numerous questions that are yet to be answered.
Jharaphula alighted from the bus midway: As per Jharaphula’s father Ramakant Nayak, she alighted from the vehicle near Vani Vihar after complaining of stomach ache and informed him that she would board the next bus. However, the conductor of the bus has said that the girl told him she forgot to carry some of her belongings for which she needed to disembark. The mismatch in the account of her father and the conductor has raised eyebrows of many.
Rakesh Swain picked her up at separate place: Though the girl alighted from the bus at Vani Vihar Square, accused Rakesh Swain reportedly picked her up at Rupali Square on his scooter. She had to walk from Vani Vihar Square to Rupali Square, though the accused could have picked her up from the original place.
Who is Sonali ? A screenshot of SMS conversation between Jharaphula and her family before her death has come to fore. Jharaphula had messaged her brother that she was unable to answer his call due to network issues. She further informed him that she stayed at the house of one of her friends namely ‘Sonali’. However, she reportedly stayed with Rakesh at a hotel in Dharma Vihar under Khandagiri police limits on January 26 night.
Late night reply: As per the screenshot, one of her family members had messaged her at 6.50 PM on January 26 asking her to answer the call. However, a reply mentioning about the network issues and stay at “Sonali’s house” was sent at 12.35 AM of January 27. It was yet to be ascertained whether Jharaphula sent the message or someone else did the same from her mobile phone.
Food Poisoning! As reportedly claimed by accused Rakesh Swain, he found Jharaphula in an unconscious state in the morning of January 27 which could have been the result of food poisoning. However, it is highly likely that the two would have consumed food from the same source/restaurant during the evening. The claim that the girl getting ill due to the food poisoning and the youth being unaffected has further deepened the mystery in the case.
Hotel staffers under scanner: After Rakesh found Jharaphula in an unconscious state, he called up his friend Shekhar. While Shekhar drove the scooter, Rakesh rode pillion making the unconscious girl sit between them. The instance of Rakesh checking out the hotel room carrying Jharaphula in unconscious state without being noticed/questioned/suspected by the staffers is an unlikely scenario. The passiveness of the staffers have raised serious questions.
Rakesh didn’t seek ambulance service: As per media reports, Rakesh initially intended to hospitalise Jharaphula. However, his decision of fetching the help of Shekhar and not opting ambulance service remains questionable. Also, Rakesh was reportedly heading towards the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack for the purpose of hospitalisation while he could have taken the girl to any other hospital in Bhubaneswar in order to avail fast healthcare service.
The Jajpur mystery: While carrying Jharaphula on the two-wheeler, Rakesh reportedly realised about her death. Later, Rakesh and Shekhar went all the way to Jajpur on the vehicle and dumped the body on roadside. It was yet to be ascertained why the duo took the body to Jajpur while none of them belong to the district.
Body of Jharaphula Nayak was found under mysterious circumstances at Mulapala under Kuakhia police limits in Jajpur district on January 27. As per eyewitnesses, two youths brought the body on a scooter and dumped it on roadside before fleeing the spot with the vehicle.